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Proceedings Paper

Resonant imaging of carotenoid pigments in the human retina
Author(s): Werner Gellermann; Igor V. Emakov; Robert W. McClane
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Paper Abstract

We have generated high spatial resolution images showing the distribution of carotenoid macular pigments in the human retina using Raman spectroscopy. A low level of macular pigments is associated with an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Using excised human eyecups and resonant excitation of the pigment molecules with narrow bandwidth blue light from a mercury arc lamp, we record Raman images originating from the carbon-carbon double bond stretch vibrations of lutein and zeaxanthin, the carotenoids comprising human macular pigments. Our Raman images reveal significant differences among subjects, both in regard to absolute levels as well as spatial distribution within the macula. Since the light levels used to obtain these images are well below established safety limits, this technique holds promise for developing a rapid screening diagnostic in large populations at risk for vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 June 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4611, Ophthalmic Technologies XII, (13 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.470595
Show Author Affiliations
Werner Gellermann, Univ. of Utah (United States)
Igor V. Emakov, Univ. of Utah (United States)
Robert W. McClane, Univ. of Utah (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4611:
Ophthalmic Technologies XII
Fabrice Manns; Per G. Soederberg; Arthur Ho, Editor(s)

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