Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eye Diagnostics – A New Way To Capture Color Retinal Images

Monitoring and treatment of eye diseases with a potential to cause blindness can be challenging. However, with new advances in research, scientists may have just developed an effective means of taking high quality color photographs of eye inflammation with the help of diagnostic equipment.A Human Eye

Recently, scientists made a headway by taking high quality color photographs of the clinical stages of ocular inflammation in mice, using what they call “Topical Endoscopic Fundal Imaging (TEFI).” And it seems that mice are just the beginning, soon humans could replace the mice, and for the better.

How TEFI would help?

Topical Endoscopic Fundal Imaging or (TEFI), makes use of an endoscope (the good old diagnostic equipment) along with parallel illumination and observation channels connected to a digital camera to capture images eye images. The development of this technique is attributed to Michel Paques, et al.

In the new study a team researchers from the University of Bristol's Academic Unit of Ophthalmology tracked the changes in the mice retina, and the best part was that it didn't cause distress to the animals or was there a need administer anesthesia to the patients (mice, in this case). Quite a painkiller find!

The paper was published in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in a paper titled "The Clinical Time-Course of Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis Using Topical Endoscopic Fundal Imaging with Histologic and Cellular Infiltrate Correlation."

According to experts, TEFI would enable monitoring of clinical disease quickly and in a non-invasive fashion. And based on the clinical observations, the investigators will be able to design experimental protocols. In addition, this new technique also paves the way to detect changes in the eye that were previously undetectable.

At the same time, while TEFI along with other histological methods does enable observation of clinical features and severity of disease, in order to gather information about the dynamics, phenotype, function, etc - a detailed analysis of cell populations during different stages of disease as it progresses might be needed.

For now only the mice used in the study seem to have benefited from it, humans may need to wait a bit.

I think the most exciting aspect of medicine is innovation. Not too far back Video Game Surgery provided new means for training surgeons. Or more recently, as it was revealed that Robots are the Future of Assistive Technology.

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