TecSan - TecSan : Technologies pour la santé et l’autonomie

Imaging of photoreceptors in retinal diseases – iPhot

Submission summary

Most cases of severe visual loss in developed countries are due to retinal diseases affecting a specialized class of neurons, the photoreceptors. Currently available systems for retinal imaging in humans do not allow neuronal imaging at the cellular level, which is crucial to understand, diagnose and monitor retinal diseases. In recent years, adaptive optics (AO) fundus imaging has proven its capability to image individual photoreceptor cells in the human retina. This technology is now reaching technical maturation. A prototypic AO system (manufactured by Imagine Eyes) is currently in operation in a clinical setting (Clinical Investigation Center 503) and has proven its reliability to monitor single photoreceptors over time.
Yet, the clinical evaluation of AO imaging is still in its infancy, and biomarkers issued from AO imaging have not been validated. The goal of the iPhot project is thus to optimize AO imaging process (from the implementation of novel technical solution to image processing and data analysis) in order to obtain morphological, quantitative and longitudinal information at the level of single photoreceptors in humans. We will aim at detecting early photoreceptor damage during genetically and phenotypically defined inheritable retinal dystrophies.
This industrial research project comprises four workpackages: 1- transversal and longitudinal evaluation of photoreceptor imaging in normal and diseased retinas (Leader: CIC 503); 2-adaptation of the existing AO prototype to several technical needs that have been identified in preliminary clinical studies (Imagine Eyes, with L2TI and ONERA); 3-development of data management softwares (Telecom ParisTech); 4- data analysis, comprising correlation with functional data (U INSERM 707). We expect that AO imaging will detect cell loss/dysfunction earlier than any other technique currently available. To our knowledge, it is the first project aimed at detecting neuronal loss at the cellular level in humans. Beyond hereditary retinal degeneration, we expect that this project, if successful, will have broad application in other retinal diseases.

Project coordination

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

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