Research‎ > ‎

In Vivo Spectroscopy of the Human Retina

(Developmental Collaborator-Driven Research Project)

UC Davis: RJ Zawadzki, T Moritz, DM Krol, JS Werner; 

LLNL: JW Evans, J Chan, S Olivier 

This research is combining optical coherence tomography (OCT) with label-free optical methods such as time-resolved autofluorescence spectroscopy and Raman scattering spectroscopy to develop a new approach to assessing function and diagnosing disease in the eye.

In vivo imaging of the retina has greatly improved our ability to monitor progression and treatment of retinal diseases. The added functionality of biochemical analysis by Raman scattering or fluorescence spectroscopy will provide additional information for clinicians and researchers. The goals of this project are to leverage the optical coherence tomography imaging expertise of the Werner Lab at the UC Davis medical center and to combine it with the Raman scattering and time-resolved autofluorescence spectroscopy expertise within CBST to identify biochemical markers relevant to eye function and disease. This technology could lead to a new understanding of the physiology and biochemistry of the retina, the effectiveness of new treatments, and provide a new diagnostic tool for clinicians and researchers.

Raman spectra of an in vitro porcine eye have been collected using a traditional microscope. We have made progress in the next step of incorporating a Raman spectrometer into our existing in vitro OCT system. Once completed, Raman spectra with corresponding OCT volumetric data will be obtained using in vitro sheep and human eye samples. We expect to use this instrument to distinguish spectra and identify biochemical data from different layers of the retina and inform future plans for an in vivo system.