Hign Performance MEMS Deformable Mirror for Adaptive Optics Retinal Imaging

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44EY015381-02A1
Agency Tracking Number: EY015381
Amount: $425,249.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 120364380
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (510) 849-2375
Business Contact
Phone: (510) 849-2375
Email: michael.helmbrecht@irisao.com
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Iris AO is developing exciting technologies that enable in vivo cellular-level retinal imaging. The cutting-edge adaptive-optics (AO) systems Iris AO develops increases the axial and transverse resolution of retinal images 5 fold. AO is used to correct for the optical aberrations in the eye that drastically reduce the resolution of conventional retinal images. Deformable mirrors (DM), the enabling component in AO systems, correct aberration by changing shape to compensate for the aberrations. This Phase II SBIR is dedicated to building advanced Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) DMs for clinical retinal-imaging systems. Imaging systems with AO exist in but a few cutting edge research laboratories throughout the world. In all of these systems, the most limiting aspect is the DM. These systems use DMs originally designed for telescopes or other applications because these are all that are available. This SBIR will bring DMs specifically designed for retinal imaging into the hands of researchers and then into clinical retinal imaging systems. Developing clinical-ready DMs will bring the benefits of these advanced imaging techniques to the general population. Iris AO's comprehensive expertise from DM manufacturing to building AO retinal-imaging systems for daily use in studying retinal diseases at the cellular-level will drive a revolution in advanced imaging techniques. By bringing AO out of the lab and into the clinical setting, this technology will have profound benefits. Iris AO's goals parallel the NEI mission of gaining a better understanding of visual function and fighting debilitating eye diseases. Iris AO engineers have helped pioneer studies in early disease detection by looking at the retina with the unprecedented resolution afforded by AO. This proposal directly meets objectives laid out in the NEI National Plan by developing a critical component in AO systems that will be used in AO-equipped SLO and OCT systems. This research will develop the DM over two iterations, refining the manufacturing each step of the way. Finite element analysis, performance testing, and failure studies will feed into the design to create robust mirrors. The development will focus on clinically valuable mirrors by meeting the required correction performance and solving practical issues necessary to bring AO into the clinical setting. After the mirror is built and tested in an AO test bed, it will be integrated into an existing AO retinal imaging system to image photoreceptors. This exciting high-performance technology will enable in vivo imaging of cellular structure to be done on the general populace instead of hand-picked research subjects as is the practice today. Research from this SBIR will enable a powerful new tool for early retinal disease detection and better understanding of visual function. The resulting technology puts the ability to observe into the retina at the cellular level into the hands of clinicians, thereby allowing them to see the start of a retinal disease before debilitating damage has been done.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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