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Ophthalmologists "look to the stars" to see inside the eye

Distortions within the cornea and lens impairs light as it travels through the eyeball hindering ophthalmologists' efforts to see the eye clearly. Utilizing adaptive optics will allow doctors to view tiny details that previously have not been seen and allow doctors to diagnose macular degeneration and other eye diseases much earlier. Adaptive optics were pioneered by astronomers to produce clear images of faraway stars. While adaptive optics is great for seeing minute details, it only produces 2D images. So researchers combined it with another technique called optical coherence tomography, which measures the thickness of tissues like the retina. The result of combining these two techniques is a prototype imaging system that fits into a 1.5-foot cube and has 140 tiny actuators and is called adaptive optics optical coherence topography (AO-OCT). It has already demonstrated the ability to detect eye diseases that don't show up with any other diagnostic method.*  

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