Optos Plc is leading provider of diagnostic devices for the eyecare professional. Research and innovation at Optos has led to ultra-wide field-of-view devices that facilitate accurate diagnoses. Imaging of the retina at the back of the human eye is essential for a timely diagnosis of diseases such as macular degeneration. Of growing importance here is optical coherence tomography (OCT), a technique that enables three-dimensional depth ‘sections’ of the retina. However, aberrations blur the peripheral of the field-of-view; precluding the detection of some diseases in an early stage. This project aims to overcome this limitation. The aim of this project is to develop a hybrid optical-digital imaging technique that is tolerant to the inherent optical imperfections in the eye and imaging optics. The first objective of this project is to overcome the aberrations introduced by the anterior segment of the human eye. A hybrid, optical-digital, approach will be investigated, specifically for wide-field imaging. The second objective is to develop the first Hybrid Optical-Digital OCT system, exploiting the depth information to obtain sharper lateral resolution. The main challenge in this project is deriving the optimal phase-modulation for the hybrid imaging system. This will require accurate modelling of complex optical-digital system and a detailed analysis of different options. A secondary challenge is to strike the optimal balance between light-efficiency and diffusion-suppression in the hybrid OCT system. Finally, with an eye on commercialisation, a method must be developed to compute spatially-variant deconvolutions in real time. The development of this first hybrid optical-digital OCT device will enable high resolution over the entire field-of-view. Its development will also lead to an improved knowledge of birefringence in the retina and other optical properties of the human eye. The outcomes of this project directly translate to opportunities for commercialisation by Optos Plc.
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