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Proceedings Paper

Ophthalmic imaging with confocal microscopy
Author(s): Barry R. Masters; Stephen W. Paddock
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Paper Abstract

The application of confoca]. imaging systems to image the cornea and the ocular lens of the living eye is a major improvement in ophthalmic imaging. This new application of confocal imaging to the living eye has potential for both basic research and clinical diagnostics. The standard optical imaging systems have poor resolution and low contrast when applied to ocular tissue. The use of confocal systems to image the nearly transparent cornea and ocular lens has several advantages as an imaging system. The two important physical improvements are: (1) almost total rejection of out- offocal plane reflected light, and (2) increased lateral resolution. The problems of ocular imaging with standard slit lamps and specular microscopes include: low contrast images due to contributions to the image from out of focal plane reflections, and low resolution. Confocal imaging systems can image living eyes. The images show sharp, high resolution, high contrast features of submicron structures. Examples of ocular confocal images include the following: submicron optical sections through the various cells in the cornea, nerve fibers, cellular processes, and images through the nucleus of living cells comprising the cornea and the ocular lens. The ocular lens has been imaged. The lens capsule, lens epithelial cells, lens fibers and nuclei are readily observed. The use of realtime confocal imaging systems in ocular medical imaging has resulted in improved quality (resolution and contrast) of cellular images of living eyes. Further developments require the availability of long free working distance objectives with a high numerical aperture. This paper demonstrates the advantages of imaging ocular tissue with a confocal imaging system. Confocal imaging of ophthalmic structures may become a standard clinical tool with the new developments in instrumentation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1990
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1231, Medical Imaging IV: Image Formation, (1 July 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.18786
Show Author Affiliations
Barry R. Masters, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)
Stephen W. Paddock, Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1231:
Medical Imaging IV: Image Formation
Roger H. Schneider, Editor(s)

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