Cambridge, MA--Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC) has been awarded a $1.2 million phase II Competing Renewal SBIR (small business innovation research grant) from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). BMC makes MEMS-based deformable mirror products and adaptive-optics systems.
The grant will enable BMC to fabricate a next-generation adaptive-optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) -- a high-resolution, high-contrast retinal imaging system that includes a MEMS deformable mirror for wavefront correction. The deformable mirror was built in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Optometry (Bloomington, IN).
A primary goal of the project is to demonstrate the usefulness of AOSLO imaging as a quantitative tool in clinical studies of eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. As part of this development, BMC will develop imaging, ergonomic, and software enhancements to the current AOSLO design. This project will also be a collaboration with Dr. Stephen Burns at Indiana University.
As part of the program, BMC will install and support the AOSLO instrument at the Beetham Eye Institute (BEI) of the Joslin Diabetes Center (Boston, MA) for an observational pilot study.
“One of our goals in the study is to examine AOSLO images taken from eyes of patients with and without diabetes and across a wide range of diabetic eye-complication severity,” said Dr. Jennifer K. Sun, an ophthalmologist at Beetham Eye Institute. "This will allow us to characterize neural and vascular cellular changes in the diabetic retina and may give us new understanding of how diabetic eye complications develop and should be treated."