Technical light-field setup for 3D imaging of the human nerve head validated with an eye model

With the new technology of 3D light field (LF) imaging, fundus photography can be expanded to provide depth information. This increases the diagnostic possibilities and additionally improves image quality by digitally refocusing. To provide depth information in the human optic nerve head such as in glaucoma diagnostics, a mydriatic fundus camera was upgraded with an LF imager. The aim of the study presented here was the validation of the technical setup and resulting depth estimations with an appropriate eye model. The technical setup consisted of a mydriatic fundus camera (FF450, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Jena, Germany) and an LF imager (R12, Raytrix GmbH, Kiel, Germany). The field of view was set to 30°. The eye model (24.65 mm total length) consisted of a two-lens optical system and interchangeable fundus models with papilla excavations from 0.2 to 1 mm in steps of 0.2 mm. They were coated with red acrylic lacquer and vessels were drawn with a thin brush. 15 images were taken for each papilla depth illuminated with green light (wavelength 520 nm ± 20 nm). Papilla depth was measured from the papilla ground to the surrounding flat region. All 15 measurements for each papilla depth were averaged and compared to the printed depth. It was possible to perform 3D fundus imaging in an eye model by means of a novel LF-based optical setup. All LF images could be digitally refocused subsequently. Depth estimation in the eye model was successfully performed over a 30° field of view. The measured virtual depth and the printed model papilla depth is linear correlated. The presented LF setup allowed high-quality 3D one-shot imaging and depth estimation of the optic nerve head in an eye model.


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