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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quantified elasticity mapping of retinal layers using synchronized acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography.

  • Author(s): Qu, Yueqiao
  • He, Youmin
  • Zhang, Yi
  • Ma, Teng
  • Zhu, Jiang
  • Miao, Yusi
  • Dai, Cuixia
  • Humayun, Mark
  • Zhou, Qifa
  • Chen, Zhongping
  • et al.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly (over the age of 60 years) in western countries. In the early stages of the disease, structural changes may be subtle and cannot be detected. Recently it has been postulated that the mechanical properties of the retina may change with the onset of AMD. In this manuscript, we present a novel, non-invasive means that utilizes synchronized acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography (ARF-OCE) to measure and estimate the elasticity of cadaver porcine retina. Both regions near the optic nerve and in the peripheral retina were studied. An acoustic force is exerted on the tissue for excitation and the resulting tissue vibrations, often in the nanometer scale, are detected with high-resolution optical methods. Segmentation has been performed to isolate individual layers and the Young's modulus has been estimated for each. The results have been successfully compared and mapped to corresponding histological results using H&E staining. Finally, 64 elastograms of the retina were analyzed, as well as the elastic properties, with stiffness ranging from 1.3 to 25.9 kPa in the ganglion to the photoreceptor sides respectively. ARF-OCE allows for the elasticity mapping of anatomical retinal layers. This imaging approach needs further evaluation but has the potential to allow physicians to gain a better understanding of the elasticity of retinal layers in retinal diseases such as AMD.

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