Project Wonder - The art of science at the Medical College of Wisconsin

What do you see?

Tiny blood vessels in the eye may hold big secrets to improving the diagnosis and treatment of common eye diseases. Researchers in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin are studying the complex network of retinal blood vessels and capillaries that supply the retina with oxygen and nutrients while removing waste products.

Retinal imaging helps scientists visualize changes in these vessels that indicate disease, such as microaneurysms, capillary degeneration and vessel damage and blockages caused by excess blood sugar in diabetic patients, a common disease known as diabetic retinopathy. Recent studies suggest certain abnormalities in retinal vessels and capillaries could predict damage from hypertension, aging and other diseases.

Capturing an image of an intact retina in one piece requires performing an extremely difficult technique. This imaging method is the most advanced and effective approach for studying vascular abnormalities in the eye.

Researcher: Shyam Chaurasia, MSc, PhD and Rayne R. Lim, PhD