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Human Eye Investigation


Development of Reflectometry Measurement System on the Base of Digital Multispectral Fundus Camera for Estimating Macular Pigments Optical Density and Concentration of Phototoxic Compounds in Retina

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation
  • MED-DID/Diagnostics & Devices/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • Moscow State University / Department of Physics, Russia, Moscow\nResearch Institute of Occupational Medicine, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of Biochemical Physics, Russia, Moscow


  • US Department of Health & Human Services / National Institute of Health / Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USA, MD, Bethesda\nUniversity of Iowa / University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics / Eye Institute, USA, IA, Iowa City\nUniversity of Helsinki / Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Finland, Helsinki

Project summary

Macula retina provides optical light absorbing protection for visual cells, substantially it determines distinctive ability of human eye. Macula retina pigmentation and its optical density (MRPOD) within the normal range can have inpidual spread in values nearly tenfold.

The recent data demonstrate that inpidual distinctive ability of human eye is substantially determined by the macula retina optical density. Macular pigments operate as a filter, reducing the scattered blue atmosphere light. Depending on inpidual MRPOD, success of recognition of distant landscape objects and target detection range can be varied significantly for different people. So inpidual MRPOD can be an efficient prognostic criterion for professionally important visual functions at professional selection of operators.

Moreover, level of macula pigmentation of the eye determines inpidual predisposition for some eye diseases. A number of light induced eye diseases is accompanied with reduction of the macula retina carotinoid content and MRPOD reduction. There are some expressed correlations between MRPOD and senile macular degeneration (SMD). It is considered that low carotinoid content within macula retina is a risk factor for SMD origin. Recently it was determined that origin of SMD and some other diseases first of all is caused by accumulation of lipofuscin (age pigment) within retina epithelium. It is an age pigment where phototoxic compounds of “worked-out” retinal are concentrated. Retina functional condition is mainly determined by level of lipofuscin content (negative factor) and concentration of macular retina carotinoids (positive factor).

Development of instrumentation for lifetime measurement of the retina pigments concentration is an urgent task on estimating the inpidual retina condition. Lipofuscin and retinal pigment spectral properties are on the base of the measurement technique. Lipofuscin concentration can be measured on its fluorescence (exiting wavelength is 500nm, and secondary luminescence at 550-650 nm). At such measurements estimating the macula retina pigment content is also possible, as in this region of retina lipofuscin fluorescence intensity is reduced by light absorbing properties of macula retina.

As a whole, the instrumentation for such measurements can be built on the base of digital multispectral fundus camera. This measurement instrumentation system should consist of multispectral light source, fundus camera, having spectral filtration system and digital recording system. The correlation technique can be used for topographic control and for retina superposition of images

The project purpose is development of reflectometry measurement system on the base of digital multispectral fundus camera for estimating macular pigments optical density and concentration of phototoxic compounds in the human eye retina by their fluorescence.

The participating institutions of the project have the required scientific and technical potential and material resources for solving this problem.

All-Russian scientific research institute of experimental physics (VNIIEF) has at hand highly qualified personnel in the field of creating high-end technology optical and laser systems, image processing, recording of radiation parameters in various spectral regions. VNIIEF also has a rich calculative theoretical database. VNIIEF has experience in creating optical mathematical, experimental and physical models of eye (the ISTC project #1159). At carrying out the project activities the VNIIEF available equipment, test benches and facilities, including the optical workshop equipment will be used.

Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Biochemical Physics, named after N.M.Emanuel has been producing the priority researches on mechanisms of visual reception and on development on this base the means and methods on optimizing visual functions of human being for 30 years The theoretical foundation of spectral correction, developed there, showed that real vision on the object location can significantly depend on optical density of macula retinae and eye lens.

RAMS Institute of Occupational Health is a scientific and methodical center of Russian Federation on integrated study of industrial and professional factors effect on the personnel health and development of new preventive technologies. The government institution "Occupational health scientific research institute at Russian Academy of medical science" is leading scientific institution of RF in the field of medicine and social monitoring, it has high scientific and technological potential and material and technical basis.

Physical faculty of M.V.Lomonosov Moscow state university has high scientific and technological potential, proper equipment, material and technical basis and experience in developing high –end biomedical systems.

The proposed project relates to the field of technology development. Creation of the reflectometer measurement system on the base of digital multispectral fundus camera to estimate macula pigmentation optical density and concentration of phototoxic compounds in the human eye retina will be the final result of the project.

The system application will allow to suggest methods and engineering solutions, allowing to estimate inpidual predisposition for eye diseases for wide contingent of the population and to carry out occupational selection for professions with advanced requirements on terrain visual distinguishing.

The proposed project completely meets the ISTC requirements, as it gives an opportunity to provide specialists, previously involved in the weapon development researches, with work in the region of fundamental and applied research of civil character.


  1. Zak P.P. Theory of spectral correction./Clinical vision physiology /ed. by Shamshinova A.M..- Moscow, PBOUL “T.M.Andreeva”, 2002. pp.204-222.
  2. Zak P.P., Ostrovsky M.A. Yellowness of eye optical media in the human vision physiology and pathology//Sensory systems, 1995. v. 9. № 1. pp. 9-21
  3. Ostrovsky M.A, Fedorovich I.B. Retinal as a light sensitizing agent of retinal-containing protein photonosus of eye retina // Biophysika, 1994,v.39, pp.13-25
  4. Boulton M., Dontsov A., Ostrovsky M.A., Jarvis-Evans J., Svistunenko D. Superoxide radical generation by human RPE lipofuscin: a photoinducible effect. //Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992. V.33, № 4, P. 919


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