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Handheld ophthalmoscope capable of imaging individual photoreceptors developed

A portable instrument has been used to image the retinas of 12 healthy adult volunteers and two children


Scientists from Duke University have developed a handheld instrument that can provide detailed images of the retina.

As part of research published in Optica, researchers used their lightweight adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope to image the retinas of 12 healthy adults and two children.

The technology is capable of providing images of individual photoreceptors within the retina.

Research team leader, Sina Farsiu, highlighted: "Until now, the imaging systems required for high resolution photoreceptor imaging consisted of large, heavy components on an optical table that could only be used with cooperative adults sitting upright.”

The handheld instrument, which measures 10cm by 5cm by 14cm, can be used on young patients and people who are lying down before undergoing surgery.

As well as providing insight into eye disease, imaging the retina can also help clinicians by providing information about processes that are occurring within the brain.

Image credit: Duke University