Researcher anticipates glaucoma applications of fluorescence imaging
WASHINGTON — Advances in combining fluorescence techniques with adaptive optics imaging are providing novel structural and functional information at a microscopic scale, a speaker said here.
By imaging the retinal pigment epithelium using the lipofuscin in cell cytoplasm, cell mosaic and fluorophore distribution show cell structure and size. In another application, two-photon fluorescence allows visualization of all retinal layers, Jennifer J. Hunter, PhD, told colleagues at the American Glaucoma Society meeting.
Jennifer J. Hunter
“What’s really interesting is that, similar to dark field imaging, there are regions in the reflectance image where cones are not reflecting light … but in the two-photon fluorescence image, we can see those particular cones,” Hunter said of the ability to image the inner layer of the cone mosaic. “The exciting possibility of this is to actually understand the function.”
Use of the technology in animal models suggests that physiologic changes are appearing before the loss of the ganglion cells, Hunter said, and such applications of the technology will be relevant to the field of glaucoma.
“In vivo fluorescence imaging allows us the opportunity to identify changes in both the cell mosaics and the distribution of the particular fluorophore … as well as understand the functional response to visual stimulation,” she said.
Disclosure: Hunter receives research support from the National Institutes of Health, and both Polgenix and Canon are collaborators in this research.