Re-Engineered, Low-Cost Retinal Scanner Could Help Prevent Blindness

Since the 1990s, optical coherence tomography OCT imaging has become the standard of care for the diagnosis of many retinal diseases including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Duke University  biomedical engineers have now developed a low-cost, portable OCT scanner that is 15 times lighter and smaller than current commercial systems, and is made from parts costing less than a tenth the retail price of commercial systems. The primary technology enabling the smaller, less expensive OCT device is a new type of 3D-printed spectrometer designed by the researchers. In the first clinical trial, the new scanner produced images of 120 retinas that were 95 percent as sharp as those taken by current commercial systems, which was sufficient for accurate clinical diagnosis.