OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 52, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2013
  • pp: 6201–6212

Imaging system to assess objectively the optical density of the macular pigment in vivo

Andrew O’Brien, Conor Leahy, and Chris Dainty  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 25, pp. 6201-6212 (2013)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (853 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



This paper presents an optical system called MacPI, which implements a two-color reflectance technique in combination with various hardware and software tools to assess objectively the macular pigment (MP) optical density in vivo. The system consists of a bespoke optical design, a control architecture, driver electronics, a collection of image-processing techniques, and a graphical user interface. The deficiencies of the technique employed and the solutions implemented in the MacPI system to confront those inherent frailties are presented. An overview of the effective interpretation of the acquired data and the techniques employed by MacPI in the acquisition of that data is discussed. The result of a comparison trial with an alternative device is also presented. We suggest that appropriate design of the hardware and an efficient interpretation of the acquired data should produce a system capable of consistent, accurate, and rapid measurements, while retaining the distinction of ease of use, portability, comfort for the subject, and a design that is economic to produce. Its versatility should allow both for a clinical screening application and for further investigation and establishment of the physiological role of the MP in a laboratory-based environment.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.0100) Image processing : Image processing
(170.0110) Medical optics and biotechnology : Imaging systems
(330.4460) Vision, color, and visual optics : Ophthalmic optics and devices
(330.7310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision

ToC Category:
Image Processing

Original Manuscript: May 16, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: June 27, 2013
Published: August 23, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Andrew O’Brien, Conor Leahy, and Chris Dainty, "Imaging system to assess objectively the optical density of the macular pigment in vivo," Appl. Opt. 52, 6201-6212 (2013)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. F. Buzzi, “Nuove sperienze fatte sulli occhio umano,” Opuscoli Scetti Sulle Scienze e Sulle Arti5, (1782).
  2. J. C. Maxwell, “On the unequal sensibility of the Foramen Centrale to light of different colours,” Report of the British Association, 1856.
  3. M. Schultze, “Uber den gelben Fleck der Retina, seinen Einflussauf normales Sehen und auf FarbenBlindheit,” (On the yellow spot of the retina: its influence on normal vision and on colour blindness), (Von Cohen, 1866), pp. 1–5.
  4. S. Soemmering, “De foramina centrali limbo luteo cincto retinae humanae,” Comment Soc Reg Sci Goetting13 (1799).
  5. E. Home, “An account of the orifice in the retina of the human eye, discovered by Professor Soemmering: to which are added proofs of this appearance being extended to the eyes of other animals,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London2 (1798).
  6. G. Wald, “Human vision and the spectrum,” Science 101, 653–658 (1945). [CrossRef]
  7. R. A. Bone, J. T. Landrum, L. Fernandez, and S. L. Taris, “Analysis of the macular pigment by HPLC: retinal distribution and age study,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 29, 843–849 (1988).
  8. R. A. Bone, J. T. Landrum, G. W. Hime, A. Cains, and J. Zamor, “Stereochemistry of the Human Macular Carotenoids,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 34, 2033–2040 (1993).
  9. F. Khachik, F. F. de Moura, D. Y. Zhao, C. P. Aebischer, and P. S. Bernstein, “Transformations of selected carotenoids in plasma, liver, and ocular tissues of humans and in nonprimate animal models,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 43, 3383–3392 (2002).
  10. O. Sommerburg, J. E. Keunen, A. C. Bird, and F. J. Kuijk, “Fruit and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 82, 907–910 (1998). [CrossRef]
  11. J. T. Landrum and R. A. Bone, “Lutein, zeaxanthin, and the macular pigment,” Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 385, 28–40 (2001). [CrossRef]
  12. R. A. Bone and J. T. Landrum, “Macular pigment in Henle fiber membranes: a model for Haidinger’s brushes,” Vis. Res. 24, 103–108 (1984). [CrossRef]
  13. W. T. Ham, J. J. Ruffolo, H. A. Mueller, A. M. Clarke, and M. E. Moon, “Histologic analysis of photochemical lesions produced in rhesus retina by short-wavelength light,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 17, 1029–1035 (1978).
  14. W. Stahl and H. Sies, “Antioxidant activity of carotenoids,” Mol. Aspects Med. 24, 345–351 (2003). [CrossRef]
  15. F. Khachik, P. S. Bernstein, and D. L. Garland, “Identification of lutein and zeaxanthin oxidation products in human and monkey retinas,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 38, 1802–1811 (1997).
  16. J. T. Landrum, R. A. Bone, and M. D. Kilburn, “The macular pigment: a possible role in protection from age-related macular degeneration,” in Vol. 38 of Advances in Pharmacology, H. Sies, ed. (Academic, 1996), pp. 537–556.
  17. J. M. Seddon, U. A. Ajani, R. D. Sperduto, R. Hiller, N. Blair, T. C. Burton, M. D. Farber, E. S. Gragoudas, J. Haller, D. T. Miller, L. A. Yannuzzi, and W. Willett, “Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C and E and advanced age-related macular degeneration,” J. Am. Med. Assoc. 272, 1413–1420 (1994). [CrossRef]
  18. J. E. Coppens, L. Franssen, and T. J. T. P. van den Berg, “Wavelength dependence of intraocular straylight,” Exp. Eye Res. 82, 688–692 (2006). [CrossRef]
  19. J. M. Stringham and B. R. Hammond, “Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 85, 82–88 (2008). [CrossRef]
  20. J. Loughman, M. Akkali, S. Beatty, G. Scanlon, P. Davison, V. O’Dwyer, T. Cantwell, P. Major, J. Stack, and J. Nolan, “The relationship between macular pigment and visual performance,” Vis. Res. 50, 1249–1256 (2010). [CrossRef]
  21. A. Roorda and D. R. Williams, “The arrangement of the three cone classes in the living human eye,” Nature 397, 520–522 (1999). [CrossRef]
  22. K. Ruddock, “Evidence for macular pigmentation from colour matching data,” Vis. Res. 3, 417–429 (1963). [CrossRef]
  23. G. Wyszecki and W. S. Stiles, Colour Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitive Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 1982).
  24. P. L. Pease, A. J. Adams, and E. Nuccio, “Optical density of human macular pigment,” Vis. Res. 27, 705–710 (1987). [CrossRef]
  25. R. A. Bone, J. T. Landrum, and A. Cains, “Optical density spectra of the macular pigment in vivo and in vitro,” Vis. Res. 32, 105–110 (1992). [CrossRef]
  26. F. C. Delori, D. G. Goger, B. R. Hammond, D. M. Snodderly, and S. A. Burns, “Macular pigment density measured by autofluorescence spectrometry: comparison with reflectometry and heterochromatic flcker photometry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 1212–1230 (2001). [CrossRef]
  27. T. J. M. Berendschot and D. van Norren, “Objective determination of the macular pigment optical density using fundus reflectance spectroscopy,” Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 430, 149–155 (2004). [CrossRef]
  28. W. Gellermann, I. V. Ermakov, R. W. McClane, and P. S. Bernstein, “Raman imaging of human macular pigments,” Opt. Lett. 27, 833–835 (2002). [CrossRef]
  29. W. Gellermann, I. V. Ermakov, R. W. McClane, and P. S. Bernstein, “In vivo resonant Raman measurement of macular carotenoid pigments in the young and aging human retina,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 1172–1180 (2002). [CrossRef]
  30. R. L. P. van der Veen, T. T. J. M. Berendschot, M. Makridaki, F. Hendrikse, D. Carden, and I. J. Murray, “Correspondence between retinal reflectometry and a flicker-based technique in the measurement of macular pigment spatial profiles,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14, 064046 (2009). [CrossRef]
  31. B. R. Wooten, B. R. Hammond, R. I. Land, and D. M. Snodderly, “A practical method for measuring macular pigment optical density,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 40, 2481–2489 (1999).
  32. J. Mellerio, S. Ahmadi-Lari, F. J. G. M. van Kuijk, D. Pauleikhoff, A. C. Bird, and J. Marshall, “A portable instrument for measuring macular pigment with central fixation,” Curr. Eye Res. 25, 37–47 (2002). [CrossRef]
  33. L. Lou, “Selective peripheral fading: evidence for inhibitory sensory effect of attention,” Perception 28, 519–526 (1999). [CrossRef]
  34. R. A. Bone, J. T. Landrum, and J. C. Gibert, “Macular pigment and the edge hypothesis of flicker photometry,” Vis. Res 44, 3045–3051 (2004). [CrossRef]
  35. C. S. Inthanayothin, J. F. Boyce, H. L. Cook, and T. H. Williamson, “Automated localization of the optic disc, fovea, and retinal blood vessels from digital color fundus images,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 83, 902–910 (1999). [CrossRef]
  36. J. P. Lewis, “Fast template matching,” in Vision Interface 95 (Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society, 1995), pp. 120–123.
  37. D. Fraser, A. J. Lambert, and M. R. S. Jahromi, “Position-varying tip-tilt estimation and region-of-interest PSF derivation by Wiener filter,” Proc. SPIE 5562, 50–57 (2004). [CrossRef]
  38. D. Schweitzer, S. Jentsch, J. Dawczynski, M. Hammer, U. E. K. Wolf-Schnurrbusch, and S. Wolf, “Simple and objective method for routine detection of the macular pigment xanthophyll,” J. Biomed. Opt. 15, 061714 (2010). [CrossRef]
  39. D. Tomaẑeviĉ, B. Likar, and F. Pernuŝ, “Comparative evaluation of retrospective shading correction methods,” J. Microsc. 208, 212–223 (2002). [CrossRef]
  40. C. Leahy, A. O’Brien, and C. Dainty, “Illumination correction of retinal images using Laplace interpolation,” Appl. Opt. 51, 8383–8389 (2012). [CrossRef]
  41. H. Ginis, I. Pentari, D. De Brouwere, D. Bouzoukis, I. Naoumidi, and I. Pallikaris, “Narrow angle light scatter in rabbit corneas after excimer laser surface ablation,” Ophthalmic Physiolog. Opt. 29, 357–362 (2009). [CrossRef]
  42. B. R. Hammond, B. R. Wooten, and D. M. Snodderly, “Individual variations in the spatial profile of human macular pigment,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1187–1196 (1997). [CrossRef]
  43. J. Loughman, G. Scanlon, J. M. Nolan, V. O’Dwyer, and S. Beatty, “An evaluation of a novel instrument for measuring macular pigment optical density: the MPS 9000,” Acta Ophthalm. 90, e90–e97 (2012). [CrossRef]
  44. M. Bland, An Introduction to Medical Statistics (Oxford University, 2000).
  45. H. Bartlett, L. Stainer, S. Singh, F. Esperjesi, and O. Howells, “Clinical evaluation of the MPS 9000 Macular Pigment Screener,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 94, 753–756 (2010). [CrossRef]
  46. D. M. Snodderly, J. A. Mares, B. R. Wooten, L. Oxton, M. Gruber, and T. Ficek, “Macular pigment measurement by heterochromatic flicker photometry in older subjects: the carotenoids and age-related eye disease study,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 45, 531–538 (2004). [CrossRef]
  47. R. L. P. van der Veen, T. T. J. M. Berendschot, F. Hendrikse, D. Carden, M. Makridaki, and I. J. Murray, “A new desktop instrument for measuring macular pigment optical density based on a novel technique for setting flicker thresholds,” Ophthalmic Physiolog. Opt. 29, 127–137 (2009). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited