Researchers and ophthalmologists from Duke University have presented a new option to examine children’s eyes in a new study entitled “In vivo cellular-resolution retinal imaging in infants and children using an ultracompact handheld probe” published in Nature Photonics.
The new handheld device is about the same size as a pack of cigarettes, weighs next to nothing and is capable of gathering detailed information about the retina’s cellular structure.
The device is being hailed as a great achievement as up to now it has been very difficult to gather data as to how a child’s retina develops, as it matures by the age of 10. This has severely impacted and limited knowledge of how diseases affect a child’s vision early in life and has made diagnosing various diseases more difficult.
The human eye presents an extraordinary opportunity for research and imaging because it is easy to access; it is relatively self-contained; improvements in function can be easily measured, and there is even a natural opening that allows us to peer inside. The eye is also delicate though, with complex vital structures concealed mere millimetres below various surfaces, which necessitates the use of a wide range of technologies to study it.