Ibsen Photonics is participating in a EU Horizon 2020 project, GALAHAD, aimed at developing high resolution OCT for glaucoma diagnosis. GALAHAD stands for Glaucoma-Advanced, Label-Free High Resolution Automated OCT Diagnosis, and the project was initiated in December 2016.

Ocular damage caused by glaucoma

Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the eye’s optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. It is the second largest cause of blindness. It is not possible to cure glaucoma or restore lost vision, but disease progress can be halted with current methods, hence it is important to diagnose as early as possible.

GALAHAD aims to develop a label-free, compact and easy to operate OCT system based on a supercontinuum light source and a new, ultra-broadband spectrometer. Ibsen’s contribution to the project is to develop the spectrometer. You can read more about Ibsen’s gratings and spectrometers here.

OCT is of particular use in diagnosing glaucoma, since it provides a high-resolution, objective, quantitative assessment of the retinal cellular layers affected by the disease. Especially because glaucoma is a disease defined by clinical appearance of the optic nerve and visual field, objective and quantitative measures can potentially provide a more accurate and precise method for the diagnosis of glaucoma and detection of its progression.

The project is a €4 million European Union project, funded via the Photonics Key Enabling Technology (KET) Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) strand of Horizon 2020. It is driven by medical centers of excellence together with manufacturers of OCT systems and components.

What is OCT?

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging technique that uses light waves to create a cross sectional view of the retina. OCT is based on low-coherence interferometry, typically employing near-infrared light, to create a map of the retina. This technology can allow doctors to detect glaucoma-related changes in the eye in its earliest stages, before the visual field or optic disc appearance indicates that glaucoma damage is occurring.

Ibsen supplies gratings and spectrometers for OCT

Ibsen Photonics’ fused silica transmission gratings are well suited for SD-OCT, due to their high diffraction efficiency over a wide bandwidth. Furthermore, Ibsen’s transmission gratings provide unbeatable thermal stability and low polarization dependency. Ibsen can build a customized spectrometer based on your specific requirements.

Project partners

Gooch & Housego (UK), Optos (UK), NKT Photonics (DK), Vivid Components (UK), the Technical University of Denmark (DK), the Polytechnic University of Valencia (ES), Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UK), the University of Münster (DE), the Capital Region of Denmark (DK) and Ibsen Photonics (DK).