Simultaneous functional imaging of neuronal and photoreceptor layers in living human retina

Clara Pfäffle, Hendrik Spahr, Lisa Kutzner, Sazan Burhan, Felix Hilge, Yoko Miura, Gereon Hüttmann, Dierck Hillmann*

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


Functional retinal imaging, especially of neuronal activity non-invasively in humans, is of tremendous interest. Although the activation of photoreceptor cells (PRCs) could be detected in humans, imaging the function of other retinal neurons had been so far hardly possible. Here, using phase-sensitive full-field swept-source optical coherence tomography (FF-SS-OCT), we show simultaneous imaging of the activation in the photoreceptor and ganglion cell layer/inner plexiform layer (GCL/IPL). The signals from the GCL/IPL are 10-fold smaller than those from the PRC and were detectable only using algorithms for suppression of motion artifacts and pulsatile blood flow in the retinal vessels. FF-SS-OCT with improved phase evaluation algorithms, therefore, allowed us to map functional connections between PRC and GCL/IPL, confirming previous ex vivo results. The demonstrated functional imaging of retinal neuronal layers can be a valuable tool in diagnostics and basic research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number23
Pages (from-to)5671-5674
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous functional imaging of neuronal and photoreceptor layers in living human retina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this