ReVAS: Extracting and Standardizing Eye Motion Data from Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopes

Summer 2018

Derek Wan : Molecular and Cell Biology (Neurobiology)

Mentor: Susana Chung

Our eyes are never stable even when we attempt to maintain a steady gaze. The characteristics of microscopic eye motion during fixation have been proposed as diagnostic biomarkers for certain neurological and visual disorders. However, the use of scanning laser ophthalmoscopes (SLOs) in clinical and research settings is often limited to rough estimates of fixation stability, due to low frame rates inherent in videos. Such estimates preclude meaningful analyses and result in non-standardized methods to quantify eye motion across research laboratories and clinics. Furthermore, existing technology is not being utilized to its full potential. Eye motion at a millisecond resolution enables more comprehensive analyses of FEMs, allowing us to fully capitalize upon SLOs. I aim to develop a systematic method to extract that eye motion at high sampling rates. Such precise measurements will serve as the basis for reliable datasets of eye motion, providing clinicians and scientists with a standard way to quantify FEMs. Furthermore, such standardization may pave the way toward using FEMs as biomarkers for early diagnosis of diseases with characteristic eye movements.

I would like to thank the Rose Hills Foundation for funding my research this summer. Although I didn't have the words for it then, ever since I was a kid I have always had this fantasy of bringing technology and medicine closer together, and this project has allowed me to take the first step toward that goal. Without this financial backing I would not have been able to pursue my personal goals or contribute meaningfully to a field that is becoming increasingly tech-oriented.