Auckland Bioengineering Institute


Ophthalmic Imaging and Bioengineering

vision-engineering

Our aims


The aim of this multidisciplinary project is to connect the physiology, vision engineering and optics of the human visual system.

The eye is a complex tissue that has to create a clear image of the outside world through a sophisticated system of biological-optical elements. This inseparability of the physiology and optical functionality of the ocular tissue is the main focus of our project. The cornea on the outermost layer of our visual system refracts the light into the eye and at the same time absorbs oxygen from the outside environment to nourish the inner avascular tissues. Behind the cornea lies the ocular lens, which changes shape to focus on the different objects at variable distances and at the same time corrects for imperfections of the other optical tissue.

Since the ocular lens is not supported with a vascular feeding system and since it is not in contact with the outside world (unlike the cornea), it is entirely dependent on a multifaceted system of fluid dynamics for maintaining its physiological homeostasis. The light is finally focused on the retina, on the back of the eye, where the light-sensitive cells then convert the optical signal to an electrical pulse which can be understood by our brain. The retina has an unusually high demand of oxygen and energy, compared to other biological tissue, in order to maintain its normal functionality. This demand is met by a dense vasculature network on the back of the retina.

The opthalmic imaging and bioengineering project uses a multidisciplinary approach, which takes advantage of bioengineering, optometry and ophthalmology resources here at the University of Auckland and other centres of excellence around the world. Individual components of the ocular system have been studied mathematically, anatomically, physiologically and optically. We believe that the close collaboration of clinicians and engineers gathered at the University of Auckland offers the perfect opportunity to marry different aspects of a perfect image formation system.
 

We have developed a large deformation model of the cornea to improve keratotomy surgery, an ophthalmic virtual environment has been developed for training in surgery on the eye, and a model of how the ocular lens generates its own circulation system in the absence of blood vessels, combining state-of-the-art microscopic imaging modalities with finite element modelling, is currently under development.

This work was carried out in collaboration with Professor T Richard Mathias (SUNY Stony Brook). Our associates were Professor Paul Donaldson, Professor Peter Thorne and Professor Gary Housley (UNSW).

We gratefully acknowledge that this part of the project was made possible with the support of the Marsden Fund, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

 

c-lens-circulation

Our members



Current

Portrait of

Ehsan Vaghefi
Lecturer (Department of Optometry and Vision Science)
Email: e.vaghefi@auckland.ac.nz

Duncan Wu

Duncan Wu
Doctoral Candidate (Department of Optometry and Vision Science)
Email: d.wu@auckland.ac.nz

Mehrdad Sangi

Mehrdad Sangi
Doctoral Candidate
Email: msan223@aucklanduni.ac.nz

Peter Qiu

Peter Qiu
Doctoral Candidate (Department of Medicine)
Email: p.qiu@auckland.ac.nz

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