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Proceedings Paper

Raman detection of carotenoid pigments in the human retina
Author(s): Werner Gellermann; Igor V. Ermakov; Robert W. McClane; Paul S. Bernstein
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Paper Abstract

We have used resonance Raman scattering as a novel, non- invasive, in-vivo optical technique to measure the concentration of carotenoid pigment in the human retina. Using argon laser excitation we are able to measure two strong carotenoid resonance Raman signals at 1159 and 1525 wave numbers, respectively. The required laser power levels are within the limits given by safety standards for ocular exposure. Of the approximately ten carotenoid pigment found in normal human serum, the species lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in high amounts in the cells of the human macula, which is an approximately 5 mm diameter area of the retina in which the visual acuity is highest. These carotenoids give the macula a characteristic yellow coloration, and it is speculated that these molecules function as filter to attenuate photochemical damage and/or image degradation under bright UV/blue light exposures. In addition, they are thought to act as free-radical scavenging antioxidants. Studies have shown that there may be a link between macular degenerative diseases, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in the US, and the presence or absence of the carotenoids. We describe an instrument capable of measuring the macular carotenoids in human subjects in a non-invasive, rapid and quantitative way.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3917, Optical Biopsy III, (19 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.382721
Show Author Affiliations
Werner Gellermann, Univ. of Utah (United States)
Igor V. Ermakov, Univ. of Utah (United States)
Robert W. McClane, Univ. of Utah (United States)
Paul S. Bernstein, Univ. of Utah School of Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3917:
Optical Biopsy III
Robert R. Alfano, Editor(s)

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