High-Frequency-Ultrasound Annular Arrays for Ophthalmic Imaging

12:06 EDT 29th March 2015 | BioPortfolio


The objective of this research is to improve the care of ocular disease and disorders, in particular the changes in the eye associated with diabetes, by providing clinicians with dramatically improved ultrasonic images of the entire eye. The research combines advanced high-frequency, high-resolution ultrasonic annular arrays transducers with new processing techniques designed to overcome several limits that have been reached with conventional high-frequency ultrasound systems. We propose that diagnosis of eye diseases using annular arrays can be more effective than the conventional ultrasound images by at least 50%; i.e., that for every 2 posterior vitreous detachments detected conventionally, 3 will be detected with the annular arrays.


In this study, we will deploy annular-array systems and assess their experimental and clinical utility for ophthalmic imaging. We hypothesize that a 20-MHz annular array will detect posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) more reliably than a conventional single element ultrasound system. Clinically, we will test the hypothesis that 20-MHz annular arrays improve detection of PVD, an important risk factor for disease progression in diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the working population (25 to 65 years) and the third major cause of legal blindness in the U.S.

We propose to carry out a study of 30 human subjects, aged 60 years or above, in whom PVD is likely to be present as a consequence of normal aging. The study will compare the ability to detect PVD using a commercial ophthalmic ultrasound system equipped with 10- and 20-MHz sector scan probes (Cinescan A/B-S, Quantel Medical), and OCT (OCT/SLO, Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.), and the 20-MHz annular array. The annular array will be used with synthetic focusing and simulated single-element mode. The end point will be the fraction of eyes in which the PVD is visualized with each technique. This comparison is designed to demonstrate the improvement in our ability to visualize this pathologic entity using the advanced signal processing modes to be explored in this study. PVD can represent a risk factor for retinal detachment and retinal neovascularization in diabetics and localization of vitreoretinal traction points may be crucial for management. The present study, however, is limited to visualization of PVD in older normal subjects, about 75% of which would be expected to have PVD present. Thus, our aim is purely to develop an improved imaging modality rather than demonstrating its clinical efficacy in management of diabetic retinopathy or other ocular diseases.

The imaging technologies that we are developing could potentially result in patents or other intellectual property, which would be managed by the Cornell Research Foundation and Riverside Research Institute. This is alluded to in the consent form for the sake of completeness.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional


Posterior Vitreous Detachment


Ultrasound examination


Weill Cornell Medical College
New York
New York
United States


Enrolling by invitation


Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Detachment of the corpus vitreum (VITREOUS BODY) from its normal attachments, especially the retina, due to shrinkage from degenerative or inflammatory conditions, trauma, myopia, or senility.

Inflammation of the choroid as well as the retina and vitreous body. Some form of visual disturbance is usually present. The most important characteristics of posterior uveitis are vitreous opacities, choroiditis, and chorioretinitis.

Separation of the inner layers of the retina (neural retina) from the pigment epithelium. Retinal detachment occurs more commonly in men than in women, in eyes with degenerative myopia, in aging and in aphakia. It may occur after an uncomplicated cataract extraction, but it is seen more often if vitreous humor has been lost during surgery. (Dorland, 27th ed; Newell, Ophthalmology: Principles and Concepts, 7th ed, p310-12).

Removal of the whole or part of the vitreous body in treating endophthalmitis, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, intraocular foreign bodies, and some types of glaucoma.

The back two-thirds of the eye that includes the anterior hyaloid membrane and all of the optical structures behind it: the VITREOUS HUMOR; RETINA; CHOROID; and OPTIC NERVE.

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