Award Winners 2005

The Rostock Cornea Module RCM: Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy of the Anterior Eye Segment

In order to quickly and safely portray the anterior eye segment including the lens, a new type of laser scanning  microscope has been developed which is based on the Heidelberg  Retina Tomograph HRT II. In order to achieve this, the Heidelberg  Retina Tomograph HRT II was combined with an attachable objec tive system, the so-called Rostock Cornea Module RCM.

If in a laser scanning ophthalmoscope the refracting media of  the eye (that with this device form part of the laser focussing  system) are replaced by a high grade objective system, the laser  focus (with a diameter of less than 1 μm) can be moved into the  anterior eye segment. This results in a fast, high resolution digital confocal laser scanning microscope for in-vivo examinations of the cornea.

This procedure of cornea contacting  without pressure is monitored via a small CCD color camera. The  contact process guarantees a set distance between microscope  and cornea. This enables an optical pachymetry. All microstructures of the cornea, including the epithelium, nerves, keratocytes and endothelium of the Conjunctiva bulbi of the eye, as well as skin, tongue and oral mucosa can be quickly and safely imaged and analyzed. For the first time ever, the depiction of dentritic cells, the so-called Langerhans’ cells, is possible in vivo.

The usage of dry objectives with this microscope in non-contact  processes also enables the depiction of the natural lens and the after cataract on an IOL for the first time ever. A significant advantage with this device is its digital nature which facilitates simple data archiving. The microscope has also been used successfully in other specialized areas such as ear, nose and throat  medicine and dentistry.

Project Partners

  • Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, Heidelberg
  • Steinbeis Transfer Center Biomedical Engineering and Applied Pharmacology in the Ophthalmology, Rostock

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