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Tuesday / June 18.
HomeminewsAdvances in Holographic OCT Recognised

Advances in Holographic OCT Recognised

A research team from the University of Lübeck has been recognised for their work to “elevate retinal imaging to a new level”, with the 2023 Heidelberg Engineering Xtreme Research Award,

Heidelberg Engineering representative Sebastian Rausch with Dr Dierck Hillmann.

The award recognises “aspiring researchers and honours their outstanding projects and advancements to ophthalmic research”. Over the years, novel research approaches by award winners have contributed to a better understanding of complex problems in ophthalmology and beyond.

Dr Hendrik Spahr and Dr Dierck Hillmann received the award for their research on holographic optical coherence tomography (HOLO-OCT) and their ongoing effort to transfer this technology into clinical applications.

Correcting for Disturbances

In their research, entitled Towards holographic OCT for clinical applications, Drs Spahr and Hillmann demonstrated the possibilities when applying techniques from digital holography and astronomy to a laboratory full-field OCT system. They developed advanced data processing techniques to correct for disturbances that are unavoidably introduced by eye motion.

“We initially demonstrated what is possible in OCT when using an experimental high-speed imaging system that captures all the data points more or less at once,” the team explained. “We could suddenly correct imaging errors and use novel contrast, for example.”

With their adjustments, they were able to enhance resolution to visualise human photoreceptors in vivo with OCT.

“We can numerically correct defocus and other aberrations, allowing us to visualise the photoreceptor mosaic and other microstructures of the human retina that could otherwise not be resolved,” Drs Spahr and Hillmann said. “The ability to image the photoreceptors and other layers of the retina, and to investigate their function and response to incident light, holds immense potential for clinical diagnostics.”

The ability to image the photoreceptors and other layers of the retina, and to investigate their function and response to incident light, holds immense potential for clinical diagnostics

Their research on holographic OCT provides further potential in adding functional contrast to OCT imaging, which previously was often limited to structural imaging.

The team’s ongoing efforts to transfer these findings to traditional OCT systems are expected to provide the basis for next-generation clinical OCT solutions and for introducing more functional imaging in the clinical setting.