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Multi-modal, multi-scale retinal imaging

Objective

The ambition of the MERLIN project is to improve in-depth diagnosis and therapeutic follow-up of diseases that impact the eye’s retina. To do so, the MERLIN partners will deliver a novel medical imaging device able to detect pathological alterations in the retina with highly enhanced sensitivity and specificity.
The medical applications of this device encompass a wide range of retinal pathologies, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as chronic vascular conditions, including diabetes. AMD and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are the leading cause of blindness worldwide in people over 55 years of age. Such diseases slowly develop at the microscopic scale in the retina. Using current imaging techniques, it is difficult to detect them at early stage, and it often takes months to assess the effects of treatments. These limitations hinders both the clinical management of patients and the investigation of new therapies.
In order to overcome these issues, the device developed in MERLIN will for the first time enable doctors to examine the retina with multiple imaging modalities at both the macroscopic and microscopic scales. Modalities will include ultrafast scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCT-A), while ultrahigh resolution will be provided by adaptive optics technology. This unique combination will reveal previously invisible cellular and microvascular retinal detail in 3 dimensions. The project partners will also develop advanced image processing software for the visualization and quantitative analysis of microscopic structures, and conduct experimentations to optimize and validate performance in AMD and DR patients.
As the feasibility of this diagnostic approach has previously been demonstrated in another European R&D project (FP7 FAMOS, 2012-2017), MERLIN will translate the technology from a preexisting laboratory prototype to a nearly commercial device usable in clinical trials.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pathology
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/ophthalmology/retinopathy
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/quantitative analysis
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/endocrinology/diabetes
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/ophthalmology
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/radiology/medical imaging
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/laser physics

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2017-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

IA - Innovation action

Coordinator

IMAGINE EYES SA
Address
Rue Charles De Gaulle 18
91400 Orsay
France
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 1 891 575

Participants (5)

MEDIZINISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN
Austria
EU contribution
€ 588 025
Address
Spitalgasse 23
1090 Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
FUNDACIO INSTITUT DE CIENCIES FOTONIQUES
Spain
EU contribution
€ 522 500
Address
Avinguda Carl Friedrich Gauss 3
08860 Castelldefels
Activity type
Research Organisations
ERASMUS UNIVERSITAIR MEDISCH CENTRUM ROTTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 072 825
Address
Dr Molewaterplein 40
3015 GD Rotterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
REGION HOVEDSTADEN
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 361 735
Address
Kongens Vaenge 2
3400 Hillerod
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE
France
EU contribution
€ 431 000
Address
Rue De Tolbiac 101
75654 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations