Imaging Retinal Cells Human Unit

Research Overview

Imaging retinal cells

Fine details of the retinal capillary network cannot be resolved with commercial imaging technology (A), but are revealed using adaptive optics (B). Our high speed imaging approach can map flow velocity across the entire network (C) and track the trajectory of individual cells (D).

Our broad research aim is to understand the fundamental workings of the living retina on the microscopic scale, and how this becomes compromised in sight-debilitating diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma. We combine a range of investigative tools including high-resolution non-invasive imaging, psychophysics, computational modeling and electrophysiology.

Our current research projects make use of high speed, multi-spectral adaptive optics to visualize the smallest neurons, glial cells and blood vessels in living eyes of humans and animals. We study the dynamics of flow and oxygen exchange at the level of individual red blood cells. We study the cascade of optical and physiological events that occur when a photoreceptor interacts with light. In our dedicated animal imaging laboratory at the new Melbourne Brain Centre facility, we also use microscopic cellular labeling techniques to study the earliest stages of retinal disease.

High speed imaging of blood flow through the retinal capillary network in a young eye with diabetes. Top: reflectance imaging. Bottom: motion contrast imaging.

High-speed movie of blood flow though emerging capillary loops (intra-retinal vascular anomalies) in type 1 diabetes. Top: reflectance imaging. Bottom: motion contrast imaging.

Blood flow though emerging vascular coil (top right) and microaneurysm (left) in type 1 diabetes. Top: reflectance imaging. Bottom: motion contrast imaging.



  • Dr Bang Bui, Dr Zheng He, Dr Christine Nguyen
  • Prof Algis Vingrys
  • A/Prof Andrew Symons
  • Dr Andrew Anderson
  • Prof Paul Mulvaney
  • A/Prof Robyn Tapp
  • Prof Austin Roorda, University of California @ Berkeley, USA
  • A/Prof Alfredo Dubra, Medical College of Wisconsin

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Mental Health, Immunology and Inflammation

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Lab Director Associate Professor Andrew Metha

Department / Centre

Optometry and Vision Sciences

Unit / Centre

Imaging Retinal Cells Human Unit

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