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.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering