Detail Project and Funding

Development of advanced Laser Imaging Techniques for the anterior and posterior Eye


Funded by: Regione Toscana  
Calls: ERA-NET
Start date: 2014-01-01  End date: 2017-02-28
Total Budget: EUR 1.210.200,00  INO share of the total budget: EUR 105.000,00
Scientific manager: Riccardo Nicoletti   and for INO is: Cicchi Riccardo

Organization/Institution/Company main assignee: C.S.O. srl

other Organization/Institution/Company involved:

other INO’s people involved:

Abstract: The LITE project is aimed at developing advanced laser imaging techniques for both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. The main goal is to advance in the field of diagnostic imaging both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye by developing new cutting edge techniques, their applications to specific diseases, and finally their perspective of integration in a single platform, thus reducing the equipment and costs in the ophthalmology clinic. The anterior segment of the eye will be non-invasively imaged by means of Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) microscopy to obtain information on corneal collagen fibrils. SHG microscopy has been successfully used in recent years to determine the structure of collagen fibrils in various types of tissue, including skin, tendon, bone and cornea. This part of the project is devoted to exploit the use of SHG microscopy to generate high-resolution images of collagen organisation without the use of any exogenous dyes. These images will help to understand modifications in the organisation of corneal collagen in eyes affected by different diseases for its early detection, with particular attention to keratoconus. Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) will be used for the posterior segment of the eye, and in particular for the retina. In this part of the project, an AOSLO system will be implemented in order to study the characteristics of degenerative retinal conditions that cause blindness, such us Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), mainly the dry from with Geographic Atrophy (GA), Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and Stargardt’s (STGD) disease. This task will be performed by quantifying single photoreceptors, mainly cones, and following both in time. Finally, the combination of these two techniques onto a single system will be designed and developed. The final aim of this project is to integrate these two novel techniques into a unique final demonstrator, taking advantage of the fact that both of them are based on a laser scanning approach.

INO’s Experiments/Theoretical Study correlated:
Multimodal microscopy for biological tissue imaging
Second-harmonic generation imaging of the cornea