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R. Pflug, B. Povaay, B. Hermann, K. Bizheva, Q. Ping, H. Sattmann, B. Hofer, W. Drexler; Depth Resolved Optical Probing of Retinal Physiology in the Rabbit Retina . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3091.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To present functional ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography for non–invasive spatially resolved probing of retinal physiology in an animal model.
Retinas from anesthetized rabbits were isolated, positioned in a superfusion chamber under a nylon mesh and maintained in oxygenated buffered Ames medium. After dark adaptation the retinas were stimulated with white light flashes of different length and intensity. Electrical recordings (ERG) and infrared OCT tomograms were acquired simultaneously. Retinal M–scans were obtained using a fiber based time domain ultrahigh resolution OCT system employing laser light centered at 1250 nm and bandwidth of 150 nm to avoid prestimulation of the retina. Dedicated post processing algorithms have been developed for extraction of functional, depth and time dependent OCT signals.
As confirmed by comparison with histology, OCT tomograms of the living rabbit retina with 3.5µm x 10–50µm (axial x transverse) resolution clearly visualized all major intraretinal layers. Optical changes detected by OCT were most pronounced in the inner/outer segment region of photoreceptor and in the inner plexiform layer. Control experiments, e.g. dark versus light adaptation as well as pharmaceutical inhibition of photoreceptor function clearly confirmed that the optical signal change seems to be triggered by physiological processes due to the light stimulus such as metabolic processes, changes in cell volume or membrane polarization.
Functional OCT enables unprecedented non–invasive probing of retinal physiology, a novel extension of ultrahigh resolution OCT. In addition to providing a non–contact measurement method, it allows for simultaneous, depth resolved imaging of retinal morphology as well as for detecting optical correlates of physiological changes in retinal sublayers.
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