The HELMHOLTZ project associates two leading neighbouring institutions: the Institut de la Vision (Fondation Voir et Entendre) and the Institut Langevin (Fondation Pierre-Gilles de Gennes) committed to boost the integration of technological research in photonics, acoustics and ultrasound with translational research on vision impairment, in order to co-develop and validate prototypes for non-invasive in vivo structural and functional dynamic imaging technologies for ophthalmology.
Innovative imaging tools will rely on emerging concepts such as ultrafast ultrasound, laser Doppler holography, full field and ultrafast cell resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT), bi-photon microscopy. These will enable both structural and functional analyses of the ocular tissues, with strong focus on the macula, the central part of the retina which is affected by the most severe disabling conditions, e.g. retinal dystrophies, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, vascular diseases, diabetic retinopathy, toxicities. We shall explore: 1) the subcellular and dynamic structure of photoreceptors, 2) changes in vascular flow and 3) functional imaging of the visual system from retina to cortex. Massive data acquisition and ultrafast numerical signal processing will take advantage of GPU-based parallel computing and of new asynchronous visual sensors. Continuous feedbacks from animal and human studies will lead to refine or redefine the prototypes jointly.
These new diagnostic tools will address unmet medical needs by improving the understanding of retinal pathophysiology, defining new biomarkers for disease progressions and enabling clinicians to select the best suited emerging therapies, from neuroprotection to gene therapy and visual restoration. As the most optically and functionally approachable part of the brain, the retina will thus exemplify and validate major streams of technological innovations for care by enhancing cross-fertilization between biomedicine and physics.
Fields of science
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineangiologyvascular diseases
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectronic engineeringsignal processing
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineophthalmologyretinopathy
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologygenetic engineeringgene therapy
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineophthalmologyglaucoma
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