Millions of people suffer from eye diseases that degrade the retina, causing blindness. Opthalmologists observe the retina to diagnose a wide variety of blinding diseases. Conventional equipment, however, does not provide cellular-level resolution to enable the doctor to make a more accurate diagnosis.


This technology uses microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), adaptive optics (AO), and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to produce 3-D retina images at the cellular level. AO compensates for optical aberrations by continuously sampling images, and rapidly compensating for these aberrations via a wavefront corrector. MEMS reduce the size and cost of the system without sacrificing speed or accuracy.

  • Adaptive Optics-based OCT - Ultra-high resolution and 3-D sectioning - In vivo characterization at the cellular level - Early diagnosis of retinal diseases - Lower health care costs for both the patient and the health care provider
  • MEMS-based system - Compact design - Lower manufacturing costs
  • Reduced illumination - Maximum patient comfort during clinical session
  • Digitized clinical record - Ability to monitor disease and effects of treatment
Potential Applications
  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical trials to monitor treatment effects of drugs
  • Other fields (e.g., cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, oncology, etc.) that require imaging at the cellular level
Development Status

Two functioning prototypes: one tested at UC Davis in 2005 and a second one tested at Indiana University in 2006. Both have been clinically tested on >100 patients. LLNL has been working on a compact version since 2007. This technology is a prestigious 2010 R&D 100 Award winner.

IP Status

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