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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Boston Micromachines' New Deformable Mirror To Enhance Retinal Imaging Systems for Earlier Detection of Leading Eye Diseases

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via PRNewswire

WATERTOWN, Mass., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Micromachines Corporation(BMC), a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products foradaptive optics (AO) systems, today announced it has manufactured an enhancedDM capable of meeting the criteria for ultra-high resolution retinal imaging,which is necessary for early detection of ocular diseases. The new mirrorwill meet the demanding requirements of both OEM retinal imaging systems aswell as vision science and microscopy researchers who use AO for biologicalimaging.

"This new deformable mirror represents a significant scientificadvancement in the field of biological imaging, specifically vision science.Until now doctors were limited in their ability to gain a clear view of thehuman retina due to image distortion caused by tissue-induced wavefrontaberration. Our deformable mirror corrects for that wavefront aberration,"said Paul Bierden, president of Boston Micromachines. "This markedimprovement in retinal imaging will provide doctors the technology necessaryto detect the leading diseases of the eye: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, andage-related macular degeneration years earlier than previously possible.Earlier detection will result in earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment."

The new mirror, which is an enhanced version of Boston Micromachines'flagship product the Multi-DM, delivers increased stroke while maintaining thehigh resolution afforded by its 140 independently controlled actuators. Themirror's 3 kilohertz frequency capability allow for high speed real-timeimaging with a 6mm aperture perfectly suited for a dilated pupil. In addition,the new Multi-DM also provides the wavefront amplitude correction needed forolder eyes by offering 6 microns of stroke. This translates to 12 microns ofwavefront correction, the most wavefront correction demonstrated by any MEMSDM on the market today. The development work on this MEMS device was partiallyfunded by the Center for Adaptive Optics, a NSF Science and Technology Center,and by a National Eye Institute Phase I SBIR.

The improved Multi-DM will also enable enhancements in other biologicalimaging areas. Biological imaging instruments often suffer from resolutionlimitations, constraining the ability of researchers and clinicians to detectcritical detail. This loss in resolution is due to the wavefront aberrationsinduced by the tissue media through which light passes to reach the object ofinterest, such as a cell, retina, or tumor. The Multi-DM's ability toactively correct for these aberrations will restore resolution and enable theextracting of vital information from biological specimens.

"The ever increasing strokes in deformable mirrors, such as the 6umachieved with BMC's new Multi-DM, will allow for deeper AO corrected imagingin biological specimens, more effective correction when used at longerwavelengths, and improved performance specifications in systems such as theAdaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM) and other AO based imagingsystems," said Ben Potsaid, Research Scientist at the Center for AutomationTechnologies and Systems (CATS) located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute(RPI).

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