Department of Medical Engineering

Applied Visual Science

Basic and clinical research of vision using engineering strategies
  • Opthalmological Optics
  • Retinal Prosthesis
  • Neuroprotection of the optic nerve and retina
  • Myopia
  • Binocular vision
Professor Takashi Fujikado
Department of Medical Engineering, Laboratory of Applied Visual Science
The laboratory using engineering to research and improve visual function. These studies involve the innovation of new devices and other therapies.

Using engineering for new ophthalmological treatments

Opthalmological Optics

The lab has developed a wavefront sensor in collaboration with Professor Naoyuki Maeda at the Department of Vision Informatics. This device is a revolutionary in that it can measure irregular astigmatism, and it is already on the market (Topcon KR 9000 PW). We have used this system to quantitatively measure and report astigmatism and monocular double vision. A Topcon prototype wavefront sensor is now being used to analyze the relationship between convergence (the ability to concentrate both eyes on one point) and adjustment to measure accommodation disorder and asthenopia. In addition, the lab is also developing a new fundus examination device, AO-SLO, which can construct high resolution fundus images.

Figure 1: The AO-SLO and photoreceptor images taken with it

Retinal Prosthesis

The retinal prosthesis is an implantable medical device that can recover lost vision due to illness. The lab is targeting patients who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa. The project has been ongoing since 2001 and is being conducted in collaboration with NAIST (Nara, Japan) and NIDEK (Gamagori, Japan). The retinal prosthesis is being designed using a suprachoroidal transretinal stimulation system (STS system), and in 2014 was implanted into patients.

Fig. 2: Schematic diagram of the STS artificial retina

Neuroprotection of the optic nerve and retina

Collaborative research with the Department of Integrative Physiology has demonstrated that electrical stimulation on the optic nerve has neuroprotective effects on retinal ganglion cells. Explorative studies investigating this effect for the medical care of patients have begun.

Myopia

Japan has a high incidence of myopia, and intensive research has been devoted to the clinical mechanisms and pathological conditions. Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors are effective at preventing myopia in disease models. Clinical studies on children with myopia are examining the effects of new specialized glasses and contact lenses are ongoing.

Binocular vision

It has been reported that stereoscopic vision is impaired when internal oblique view occurs early. The lab has developed a device that displays on a liquid crystal screen three-dimensional optotypes to precisely evaluate stereoscopic vision. It has also developed a three-rod method (a method to measure depth perception) that can be performed under a microscope.