Both the clinical diagnosis and fundamental investigation of major ocular diseases greatly benefit from various non-invasive ophthalmic imaging technologies. Existing retinal imaging modalities, such as fundus photography, confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO), and optical coherence tomography (OCT), have significant contributions in monitoring disease onsets and progressions, and developing new therapeutic strategies. However, they predominantly rely on the back-reflected photons from the retina. As a consequence, the optical absorption properties of the retina, which are usually strongly associated with retinal pathophysiology status, are inaccessible by the traditional imaging technologies. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) is an emerging retinal imaging modality that permits the detection of the optical absorption contrasts in the eye with a high sensitivity. In PAOM nanosecond laser pulses are delivered through the pupil and scanned across the posterior eye to induce photoacoustic (PA) signals, which are detected by an unfocused ultrasonic transducer attached to the eyelid. Because of the strong optical absorption of hemoglobin and melanin, PAOM is capable of non-invasively imaging the retinal and choroidal vasculatures, and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) melanin at high contrasts. More importantly, based on the well-developed spectroscopic photoacoustic imaging, PAOM has the potential to map the hemoglobin oxygen saturation in retinal vessels, which can be critical in studying the physiology and pathology of several blinding diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Moreover, being the only existing optical-absorption-based ophthalmic imaging modality, PAOM can be integrated with well-established clinical ophthalmic imaging techniques to achieve more comprehensive anatomic and functional evaluations of the eye based on multiple optical contrasts. In this work, we integrate PAOM and spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT) for simultaneously in vivo retinal imaging of rat, where both optical absorption and scattering properties of the retina are revealed. The system configuration, system alignment and imaging acquisition are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)