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Adaptive Optics Phoropter Wins R&D 100 Award

Livermore, California – July 23, 2003:   A new ophthalmic instrument, The MEMS-based Adaptive Optics Phoropter (MAOP), greatly simplifies the process of determining an optical prescription, and allows higher order optical aberrations of the eye to be measured. The instrument has won a prestigious R&D 100 Award.
  A phoropter is the instrument used by optometrists and ophthalmologists to measure and correct vision so as to derive an optical prescription for the patient. The new MEMS-based Adaptive Optics Phoropter (MAOP) replaces traditional phoropters and enables clinicians to accurately diagnose and treat patients with high-order visual aberrations. These aberrations, such as coma and spherical aberration, have been difficult to measure and correct in the past.

MAOP allows clinicians to integrate a computer-calculated measurement of eyesight with a patientís response to a target image. Patients can immediately see how objects will look – and the clinician can adjust the prescription – before they are fitted for contact lenses or undergo surgery. As a result, patients will experience better vision correction outcomes, especially with custom contact lenses or laser refractive surgery.
Atlas of Laser Scanning Ophthalmoscopy, Scheuerle
The use and appearance of the MAOP is similar to that of traditional phoropters, except the clinician does not need to perform any of the manual steps. The results are significantly improved and more precise. The wavefront corrector on the MAOP applies the appropriate correction, automatically calculated by the wavefront sensor. This data is then combined with the patientís subjective response to attain the best correction and compensate for higher-order aberrations.

The instrument combines adaptive-optics technologies and MEMS-based deformable mirror technologies. The MEMS deformable mirror reduces size requirements for the instrument and uses off-the-shelf commercial components, allowing it to be affordable and suitable for clinical environments. It does this without any loss in precision or response speed.

Applications for the tool include generation of improved prescriptions for custom contact lenses or laser eye surgery, and high-resolution retinal imaging. MAOP also enables clinicians to more successfully detect, diagnose, and treat retinal diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.

The annual R&D 100 contest, sponsored by the Chicago-based trade magazine R&D Magazine, uses technical experts to help determine the best applied new technologies. One hundred winners are chosen from an international pool of contestants from universities, private corporations, and government labs.

The MEMS-based Adaptive Optics Phoropter was developed by a team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with Bausch & Lomb, Boston Micromachines Corp., Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Rochester and WaveFront Sciences.

Further Information: 
"Eyes Can See Clearly Now," Science & Technology Review, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, October 2003.

Full Press Release

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