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New device finds early signs of eye disease in preemies
Date:9/21/2009

"SD OCT reveals the retina in greater detail than was ever before realized, allowing us to observe disease at almost the cellular level" she says.

New advances in OCT led Joseph Izatt, a professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology at Duke, to create the handheld probe which can snap pictures over 40 times faster than previous versions of OCT. That means multiple scans of the eye now take only seconds. It also means the portable handheld SD OCT system can be taken directly to premature infants in the incubator.

The device is manufactured by Bioptigen, Inc., a Duke spinout company in Research Triangle Park. Izatt is the chairman and chief technology officer of the firm.

"Now, for the first time, we can take the SD OCT system into the neonatal intensive care unit and hold it over the infant's eye without touching the eye and image the retina while the infant is lying in the bed," she says. "We don't have to transport the infants out of the intensive care unit, which makes the whole process much more comfortable for them and their parents."

Toth's next step is to determine what role the system could play in treatment decisions.

"Right now we're analyzing data on more than 20 infants to identify how the SC OCT images of RoP relate to the usual examination and to decisions we make about treatment. What we hope to learn is whether what we see in the infant's eyes today will help us to predict how their disease and vision will be in the future."

Toth says this imaging technology could also have practical applications for improving the diagnosis and treatment of babies suspected of having a wide range of retinal diseases including albinism and retinal injury.


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Contact: Debbe Geiger
Debbe.Geiger@duke.edu
919-660-9461
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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