Adaptive optics (AO) is essential for achieving diffraction limited resolution in large numerical aperture (NA) in-vivo retinal imaging in small animals. Cellular-resolution in-vivo imaging of fluorescently labeled cells is highly desirable for studying pathophysiology in animal models of retina diseases in pre-clinical vision research. Currently, wavefront sensor-based (WFS-based) AO is widely used for retinal imaging and has demonstrated great success. However, the performance can be limited by several factors including common path errors, wavefront reconstruction errors and an ill-defined reference plane on the retina. Wavefront sensorless (WFS-less) AO has the advantage of avoiding these issues at the cost of algorithmic execution time. We have investigated WFS-less AO on a fluorescence scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (fSLO) system that was originally designed for WFS-based AO. The WFS-based AO uses a Shack-Hartmann WFS and a continuous surface deformable mirror in a closed-loop control system to measure and correct for aberrations induced by the mouse eye. The WFS-less AO performs an open-loop modal optimization with an image quality metric. After WFS-less AO aberration correction, the WFS was used as a control of the closed-loop WFS-less AO operation. We can easily switch between WFS-based and WFS-less control of the deformable mirror multiple times within an imaging session for the same mouse. This allows for a direct comparison between these two types of AO correction for fSLO. Our results demonstrate volumetric AO-fSLO imaging of mouse retinal cells labeled with GFP. Most significantly, we have analyzed and compared the aberration correction results for WFS-based and WFS-less AO imaging.
Daniel J. Wahl, Pengfei Zhang, Yifan Jian, Stefano Bonora, Marinko V. Sarunic, and Robert J. Zawadzki, "Wavefront sensorless adaptive optics versus sensor-based adaptive optics for in vivo fluorescence retinal imaging (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10073, Adaptive Optics and Wavefront Control for Biological Systems III, 100731G (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253368.5380600117001.
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