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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Prof Roy Andrew Quinlan

Young, L.K., Jarrin, M., Saunter, C.D., Quinlan, R.A. & Girkin, J.M. (2018). Non-invasive in vivo quantification of the developing optical properties and graded index of the embryonic eye lens using SPIM. Biomedical Optics Express 9(5): 2176-2188.

Author(s) from Durham


Graded refractive index lenses are inherent to advanced visual systems in animals. By understanding their formation and local optical properties, significant potential for improved ocular healthcare may be realized. We report a novel technique measuring the developing optical power of the eye lens, in a living animal, by exploiting the orthogonal imaging modality of a selective plane illumination microscope (SPIM). We have quantified the maturation of the lenticular refractive index at three different visible wavelengths using a combined imaging and ray tracing approach. We demonstrate that the method can be used with transgenic and vital dye labeling as well as with both fixed and living animals. Using a key eye lens morphogen and its inhibitor, we have measured their effects both on lens size and on refractive index. Our technique provides insights into the mechanisms involved in the development of this natural graded index micro-lens and its associated optical properties.