Optoretinography is growing up

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The arsenal of tools available to neuroscientists today to study the function and structure of neurons in the brain and retina is impressive. Fluorescent probes that indicate functional activity become faster and more sensitive (1), as well as the imaging systems developed for their observation (2). Electrode arrays are increasingly parallelized in three dimensions (3), a combined optoelectronic recording is also possible (4th). But as exciting as these technologies are, their transfer for human use remains problematic due to ethical and regulatory barriers arising from their invasiveness and potential toxicity. The increased demand for non-invasive recording at the cellular level with comparable sensitivity and resolution in living people has fueled inventions and innovations for the retina in an emerging field called optoretinography or ORG. Originally from Mulligan et al. (5) ORG generally refers to the recording of optical signals caused by the neural function of the retina. ORG measurements with different names and realizations have been carried out for decades (6th11th). A primary goal of ORG research was to improve the ability to detect and measure disease-related loss of function, and therefore the ability of Lassoued et al. (12th) The proof in PNAS that an eye disease causes a change in the ORG represents the coming of age of the method. It took a combination of several important developments to reach this point.

One of the biggest barriers has been the natural optics of the eye, which has evolved well for vision but is not of sufficient quality to be able to capture microscopic images of …

1E-mail: aroorda {at} berkeley.edu.


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