Validation of New Glaucoma Diagnostic and Progression Prediction Method

Robert Zawadzki, PhD University of California

Co-Principal Investigators

Pengfei Zhang, PhD


This project aims to validate an OCT-based method that utilizes RGCs cellular dynamic scattering as a novel glaucoma biomarker by testing its predictive value in animal models of glaucoma. This proposal has two specific Aims. First Aim focuses on "ground truth" validation of novel cellular resolution OCT-based method, Temporal Speckle Analysis (TSA-OCT), allowing monitoring of the morphology and potentially function of individual RGC (somas and axons), against two gold standards of RGCs detection available in animal models: in vivo fluorescence SLO (FSLO) and the ex vivo flat-mounted histology. The second Aim focuses on validating the predictive value of the (RGCs) cellular dynamic scattering, measured by TSA-OCT, on individual RGCs fate in the Optic Nerve Crush model.

Project Details

The proposed Temporal Speckle Analysis (TSA-OCT), which monitors the morphology and potentially a function of individual RGC (somas and axons), is very innovative. Proposed studies in animal models will allow its first-ever "Ground truth" validation against in vivo fluorescence SLO (FSLO) and the ex vivo images of the same retinas. Additionally, testing the predictive value of changes in individual RGCs scattering in animal models of glaucoma is also innovative. It will allow the first-ever evaluation of TSA-OCT as a potential clinical biomarker of glaucoma and its progression. Once the study is completed, there are several foreseeable benefits to the general public. First, this result will facilitate the implementation of TSA-OCT as a new biomarker in clinical glaucoma diagnostic, allowing earlier detection and better monitoring of treatment in individual patients. Second, its application to preclinical studies of novel glaucoma treatments will allow reduction of total animals needed for testing, considerably speeding up the validation period and shortening the time before new treatments become available to the general population.