Generous donations from eye charities have allowed the University of Leicester to buy a unique piece of retinal imaging equipment - the only one of its kind in the UK. The handheld retinal scanner will allow new research into eye disorders such as nystagmus, a condition that causes involuntary twitching movements of the eyes.
The device is particularly useful for studying the eyes of young children, who often miss out on diagnoses because standard equipment is unsuitable for use with infants. Nystagmus in children is currently poorly understood, but research in the area is difficult because of the challenges involved in taking complex visual images of the eyes of babies and small children.
Nystagmus Network, the Ulverscoft Foundation and the Medical Research Council all contributed funds to allow the Ophthalmology Group at the University of Leicester to purchase a handheld UHR SD-OCT (ultrahigh-resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography) scanner, manufactured by US firm Bioptigen. The device can create highly detailed three dimensional maps of the inside of the eye, including the retina - the light-sensitive tissue that lines the inner eye and facilitates vision.
Because the new imager is handheld and portable, it is ideal for use on small children.
Dr Eric Buckland of Bioptigen, who developed the imager, delivered the equipment to Professor Irene Gottlob, Professor of Ophthalmology and head of the Ophthalmology Research Group at the University of Leicester. Professor Gottlob has conducted extensive research into eye disorders and has published over 130 academic papers on the subject.
Professor Gottlob said: "Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) has revolutionised diagnosis and treatment for adult patients with eye diseases over the last decade. So far children have been deprived of this technology, so we are thrilled to have an OCT device which can be used in small children and infants.
|Contact: Professor Irene Gottlob|
University of Leicester