Non-invasive Laser Photography of the Living Human Retina to Understand Cells

Andrew Browne, MD, PhD University of California, Irvine


Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD


We will develop an instrument to image the retinal function in patients with macular degeneration Aim 1: We currently have a 2-photon imaging microscope that visualizes retinal function in mice. We will modify our existing microscope for 2PI of the rodent retina for use in humans. Aim 2: We will first confirm the safety of 2-photon Imaging by studying human subjects who have a blind eye and monitoring changes in their eye after imaging. We will then use 2-photon Imaging to study retinal biochemistry in people with macular degeneration.

Project Details

Two-photon functional imaging of the retina, while used extensively by our group in animals and in vitro, has never been achieved in human retinal imaging. We will produce a first-of-its-class research device to study human retinal disease. We contribute new safety data to make 2-photon imaging practical in human eyes. We will unearth, heretofore, unobtainable information about retinal tissue function in living humans with macular degeneration. We will create a new imaging device that will help us understand common and uncommon blinding diseases non-invasively, open avenues to treatments targeting the early stages of the disease, and ultimately prevent vision loss.