Photoreceptor Integrity Software

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$148,343.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43EY022505-01
Agency Tracking Number:
R43EY022505
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
NEI
Solicitation Number:
PA11-096
Small Business Information
LICKENBROCK TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
4041 Forest Park Avenue, SAINT LOUIS, MO, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
176142693
Principal Investigator:
TIMOTHY HOLMES
(314) 615-6921
tim.holmes@lickenbrocktech.com
Business Contact:
MARIA CARMEN
(314) 615-6922
maria.holmes@lickenbrocktech.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This research will have a significant and potentially broad impact on reducing blindness and vision loss of Americans. Many predominant eye conditions, associated with blindness and vision loss, disturb and compromise the photoreceptors. This research will enable researchers to study the characteristics, causes and future treatments of diseases and conditions that affect photoreceptors. The ensuing software product will produce images of the photoreceptor- integrity layer (PIL), and related nearby layers, which are endogenous markers of the photoreceptors and are linked to many predominant blinding diseases. The software will be sold initially to researchers of the causes and treatments of these diseases and, later, it will be aimed at clinical use, for evaluating conditions to manage treatments. The Phase I project involves the study and development of algorithms and software that produce images and measurements from optical coherence tomography in and near the photoreceptor layer - starting most notably with the PIL that is traditionally thought to represent the inner-segment/outer-segment junction and is a component of the photoreceptors. These layers are connected physically and physiologically to the photoreceptors, sotheir compromise affects vision loss in many predominant conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, geographic atrophy and retinitis pigmentosa. The software will help researchers characterize and study the progression and pathophysiology of these conditions. It will provide objective measures for practitioners to evaluate these conditions to manage treatment. The most important novelties are: (1) It will have full automation, with no manual operations needed, which is essential for practitioners. (2) A unique set of images and measures are defined for research and practical clinical use. (3) A novel mathematical approach that involves, for the first time, 3D active surface contours and a novel optimization function designed by our group. (4) It will be the first commercial product with this functionality. Easy-to use images and measures are aimed at the dual role of a research tool and a clinical evaluation tool where workflow is important. This commercial aim causes many challenges that will drive further innovations of the algorithms and software. The Phase I project will focus on the first prototype algorithms and approaches to producing images and measurements, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology. Measurements include those of parameters that could reflect any compromise of the PIL. Feasibility will be defined by showing that these measures show a difference between normal and disease cases. Phase II will involve algorithms and images for studying other layers besides thePIL layer that are connected physiologically and physically to the photoreceptors, including the retinal pigment epithelium and external limiting membrane. The detection and visualization of other layers in the retina and choroid will be a natural falloutof this work, so the end product will have a wealth of functionalty demanded by the customers, besides imaging and measurement of layers relevant to the photoreceptors, although the focus and aim of the Phase I and Phase II work will be associated with thephotoreceptors. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This research will have a significant and potentially broad impact on reducing blindness and vision loss of Americans. Many predominant eye conditions that cause blindness and vision loss are accompanied by compromised photoreceptors. This research will enable researchers to study the characteristics, causes and future treatments of diseases and conditions that affect photoreceptors. The ensuing software product will produce images of the photoreceptor- integrity layer (PIL), and related nearby layers, which are endogenous markers of the photoreceptors and are linked to many predominant blinding diseases. The software will be sold initially to researchers of the causes and treatments of these diseases and, later, it will be aimed at clinical use, for evaluating conditions to manage treatments. The theme of this project is the study and development of algorithms and software that produce measurements and images from optical coherence tomography (OCT) retinal layers associated with the photoreceptors - most notably and initially the photoreceptor-integrity layer (PIL). The software is intended for studying, characterizing and managing treatment of conditions that disturb the photoreceptors. The disturbance of the PIL and these other layers (e.g., retinal pigment epithelium and external limiting membrane), because they are connected physically and physiologically to the photoreceptors (photosensitive elements of the eye), affect vision in common blinding diseasesand conditions such as age- related macular degeneration (AMD), geographic atrophy (a condition of AMD), retinitis pigmentosa, macular telangiectasia and others. The software's earliest version will have tools for researchers to characterize and study theprogression and physiology of these conditions. A later version will provide objective images and measures for practitioners to evaluate these conditions and manage treatment. The software product will produce easy-to-understand measures specifically aimedat the dual role of a research tool and a clinical evaluation tool where workflow of the clinic is important. A prototype will be produced that leads to a commercial software package that is easy to use by many researchers and practitioners.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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