In-Focus 4: Professor Joe Carroll

In this week’s episode of the Retina International In-Focus podcast series, Avril welcomes Professor Joe Carroll to speak about adaptive optics and how it is revolutionising retinal imaging techniques, to produce more detailed and accurate images. Joe is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is the head of their Advanced Ocular Imaging Program (AOIP).

Adaptive optics is a form of technology applied to imaging techniques to compensate for imperfections within the eye which interfere with the quality of images and ultimately improve our understanding of how retinal conditions develop and progress. Adaptive optics is used to provide us with a better understanding between the structure and function of the visual system and has been very successful in helping to monitor retinal disease progression cell-by-cell.

In today’s episode, Joe talks Avril through the challenges that retinal professionals and researchers face when examining the visual system and identifying retinal diseases at an early stage to allow for effective treatment intervention. Although the retina is very accessible for imaging, the detail and high resolution required for examining at the cellular level is not available in current imaging techniques, such as fundus photography and optical coherence tomography (OCT).

This is due to imperfections within the eye which distort the captured images and prevent images which can assess the integrity of the eye at the cellular level. Joe explains how adaptive optics can correct for these imperfections and has been used in experiments to study how the eye responds to treatment by examining the rate of cell survival in treated eyes compared to untreated eyes. In this way, improvements made to the visual system can be recognised at a deeper level, instead of simply using visual function as the only indicator of a successful therapy.

As this technology advances and becomes more sophisticated, the incorporation of adaptive optics with existing retinal examination techniques will allow for a greater understanding of how retinal diseases develop and indicate appropriate times for treatment which will help maintain greater visual capacity.

Listen to the full audio-recording of the episode here:

In-Focus Episode 4: Joe Carroll and Adaptive Optics


The previous episodes are also available to listen to through the provided links below:

In-Focus Episode 3: Professor Juliana Sallum Retina Brasil

In-Focus episode 2: Claudette Medefindt and Karen Denton Retina South Africa

In-Focus episode 1: Christina Fasser Retina International President

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