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Opt Express. 2008 Jul 21;16(15):11083-94.

Ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography and pancorrection for cellular imaging of the living human retina.

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  • 1Biomedical Imaging Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales, UK.


Cellular in vivo visualization of the three dimensional architecture of individual human foveal cone photoreceptors is demonstrated by combining ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography and a novel adaptive optics modality. Isotropic resolution in the order of 2-3 microm, estimated from comparison with histology, is accomplished by employing an ultrabroad bandwidth Titanium:sapphire laser with 140 nm bandwidth and previous correction of chromatic and monochromatic ocular aberrations. The latter, referred to as pancorrection, is enabled by the simultaneous use of a specially designed lens and an electromagnetically driven deformable mirror with unprecedented stroke for correcting chromatic and monochromatic aberrations, respectively. The increase in imaging resolution allows for resolving structural details of distal elements of individual foveal cones: inner segment zones--myoids and ellipsoids--are differentiated from outer segments protruding into pigment epithelial processes in the retina. The presented technique has the potential to unveil photoreceptor development and pathogenesis as well as improved therapy monitoring of numerous retinal diseases.

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