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26 October 2016


The How and the Why of Live Cells Imaging in the Retina: current trends in the clinical and basic research

A public lecture by Robert J. Zawadzki, Assistant Research Professor, Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis

Robert J. ZawadzkiRoutine imaging of live cells in the human eye is one of the great achievements of modern Optical Engineering that has been just recently accomplished in both clinical and basic science. Historically there were physical limitations such as aberrations of human eye, to the resolution (image quality) of retinal images that could be captured with current commercial grade imagining systems. Novel retinal imaging instruments overcome this limitation by allowing visualization of single cells within the retina of living eye offering resolution, sensitivity and specificity that is still not available in most clinical practices. This is why the future commercialization of cellular resolution retinal imaging has the potential to truly revolutionize how we diagnose and monitor progression and treatment of many eye diseases.

In this public lecture, Dr Robert Zawadzki reviewed the progress that is being made in developing human (clinical) and animal (mice) high resolution retinal imaging systems.

He described basic operating principles of cellular resolution in-vivo retinal imaging modalities including adaptive optics (AO) and its combination with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and scanning light ophthalmoscopy (SLO). Dr Zawadzki also discussed costs and benefits of live cell imaging including examples of current and possible future applications of these technologies.

Robert J. Zawadzki received his PhD degree in Natural Sciences from the Technical University of Vienna in 2003. In 2004 he joined the UC Davis Vision Science and Advanced Retinal Imaging (VSRI) laboratory, where he is now an Associate Research Professor. In 2012 he co-founded the UC Davis RISE EyePod laboratory and is Managing Director.

Dr Zawadzki studies pathophysiology and early morphological markers of retinal function during progression or treatment of several common retinal and ONH diseases. His research interests focus on the development of new instrumentation for high-resolution in vivo probing of retinal structure and function in humans and animal models of human diseases (allowing visualization of individual cellular structures). This includes, but is not limited to Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), OCT Angiography (OCTA), Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy (SLO) and Adaptive Optics (AO).

This lecture is part of the 2016 LightTALKS Series, where scientists, engineers and artists talk about optics and photonics, and how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. The series is co-sponsored by the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies, the Imaging and Informatics Group at the Lions Eye Institute, The Optical Society, its UWA chapter, and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.