Implementation of Adaptive Optics in a Clinical Ophthalmic-Imaging Instrument

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
2005 – 2006
  • Richard C Haskell
Steven F. Ning (’08)
Sarah S. Adelman (’07)
Gregory A. Sandstrom (’07)
Steven (Steve) P. Von der Porten (’07)
Megan [Arman] Doudian (’06)
Hansford C. Hendargo (’06)
Li L. Tian (’06)
Among the central themes of vision research within the United States today, are the efforts to understand the limits of human visual acuity and the changes in vision associated with aging and retinal disease. The Adaptive Optics group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in collaboration with researchers at the UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) and the University of Rochester, has applied adaptive optics technology to the study of the human eye to: (1) measure the visual performance of the eye when virtually all the aberrations of the eye are corrected, and (2) obtain high-resolution images of the retina, thereby allowing correlation of retinal structure with visual performance. The research program at UCDMC has focused specifically on the optical and neural factors responsible for the normal aging of the human visual system, and cellular mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the United States. The goal of the LLNL clinic project at Harvey Mudd College is to convert the current adaptive optics ophthalmic-imaging instruments from prototype/bench-top systems into a “clinical” instrument. The Harvey Mudd team will be responsible for the development of a next-generation ophthalmic imaging instrument that incorporates new design features aimed at improving the clinical utility of the instrument, for instance, by reducing its size and by making it easier to be operated by a trained technician. The HMC team will implement a broad range of optical, mechanical and software improvements required to make these changes.

The Physics Clinic program presents opportunities for students to work on practical projects relevant to industrial work. Students work on teams of 3–5 on a sponsored research or development project.