Imaging the functional biomarker of photoreceptors Grant

Imaging the functional biomarker of photoreceptors .


  • Project Summary-Abstract“Vision is the most fundamental of our senses and it is perhaps the greatest tragedy of all when blindness robsus of this modality”. Photoreceptors are light-detecting cells initiating vision. Loss of photoreceptor leads to lossof vision. This happens in millions of Americans with hereditary retinal degenerations or age-related maculardegeneration (AMD). Loss of vision is not only a personal tragedy but also a burden to the society. It isestimated that a patient with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) has an average health care cost of $7,000/year, morethan that of age-matched non-RP patients. We want to develop three new in vivo imaging technologies formapping rhodopsin, the functional and anatomic biomarker of rod photoreceptors. Based on our in-depthanalysis of the clinical needs of today and in the near future for monitoring the function and anatomy ofphotoreceptors, we believe it will be a game changer for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment evaluationfor retinal degenerative disorders, including hereditary retinal degeneration, AMD, and other diseases. Thisapplication has the following hypotheses: 1, Visible-light OCT (VIS-OCT) provide depth resolved informationfor segmentation to measure the levels and distribution of rhodopsin accurately; 2, The amount of rhodopsincan be calculated from measurements of absorbance at different wavelengths located in the rhodopsinabsorption spectrum; 3, Imaging devices based on the VIS-OCT technologies could provide information toassess the levels and distribution of rhodopsin in patients. This proposal has three Specific Aims. In Aim 1, Wewill develop and refine three VIS-OCT based imaging technologies: a Single-Band VIS-OCT with a centerwavelength of 520 nm close to the peak absorption of rhodopsin; a Tri-Band VIS-OCT that uses three bands ofprobing light spanning the rhodopsin absorption spectrum; and a Broad-Band VIS-OCT that uses a continuousspectrum covering the rhodopsin absorption wavelengths from 520 nm to 580 nm. The Single-Band technologywill image the retina twice, once dark-adapted and then light adapted. With the Tri-Band and Broad-Band VIS-OCTs rhodopsin content will be calculated from the simultaneously acquired OCT images based on thedifferent molar extinction coefficients of rhodopsin at different wavelengths. Since the Tri-Band and Broad-Band technologies only need to image the retina once in the dark-adapted state, it would be much more clinicalfriendly. In Aim 2, we will use animal models to test and fine-tune the three VIS-OCTs. In Aim 3, we will testthe three OCT systems in human subjects to provide vital feedback to improve and fine-tune the hardware andsoftware, and to establish rhodopsin ranges of normal retina and retinas of different stages of diseases. Weexpect to have the three systems clinically ready by the end of this project. Successful completion of theproposed experiments would add a powerful technology to ophthalmology clinics for care of patient with retinaldegenerative diseases.

date/time interval

  • April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2022

awarded by

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 1R01EY026643-01A1



  • Age
  • Age related macular degeneration
  • Algorithms
  • American
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Model
  • Biological Markers
  • Blindness
  • Cells
  • Clinic
  • Clinical
  • Clinical Trials
  • Computer software
  • Darkness
  • Data Set
  • Degenerative Disorde
  • absorption
  • anatomic imaging
  • base
  • clinical application