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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 26, Iss. 4 — Feb. 15, 2001
  • pp: 202–204

Resonant Raman detection of macular pigment levels in the living human retina

Igor V. Ermakov, Robert W. McClane, Werner Gellermann, and Paul S. Bernstein  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 202-204 (2001)

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We have used resonant Raman scattering as a novel, noninvasive in vivo optical technique to measure the concentration of macular carotenoid pigments in the living human retina. Using a backscattering geometry and resonant molecular excitation in the visible, we measure the Raman peaks that originate from the single- and double-bond stretch vibrations of the p -conjugated molecule's carbon backbone. The Raman signals scale linearly with carotenoid content, whereas the required laser excitation is well under safety limits for macular exposure. The Raman technique is objective and quantitative and may lead to a new method for rapid screening of carotenoid pigment levels in large human populations that are at risk for vision loss from age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness of the elderly in the United States.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.4890) Materials : Organic materials
(170.3890) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics instrumentation
(170.4470) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmology
(290.5860) Scattering : Scattering, Raman
(300.6450) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, Raman
(330.4300) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision system - noninvasive assessment

Igor V. Ermakov, Robert W. McClane, Werner Gellermann, and Paul S. Bernstein, "Resonant Raman detection of macular pigment levels in the living human retina," Opt. Lett. 26, 202-204 (2001)

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