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Boston Micromachines Corporation MEMS Deformable Mirrors Used by Vision Scientists for Imaging Technique to Improve Understanding of Disease Progression

10/12/2011 8:24:51 AM

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - October 12, 2011) - Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC), a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, announced today that its Multi-DM deformable mirror is being used at the University of Houston College of Optometry in its research on the mechanisms responsible for the development and progression of glaucoma and other ocular diseases. BMC's mirror is being used in a groundbreaking project using wavefront sensorless adaptive optics to image the living human eye. The scientists at the University of Houston College of Optometry have built an Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) to image single cells in living eyes. The AOSLO is using an iterative stochastic parallel gradient descent (SPGD) algorithm to directly control the 140 actuators of the BMC Multi-DM to maximize the mean intensity in the acquired retinal images.

"With this instrument we aim to provide an earlier structural marker for glaucoma at the site of initial damage in the optic nerve head. This will potentially enable better tracking of disease progression and assessment of the effectiveness of treatment," said Jason Porter, Assistant Professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry. "We chose the Multi-DM because its large actuator count allows for higher-order aberration correction, which was a key requirement for our approach. In addition we had successfully used BMC mirrors in previous retinal imaging projects."

The wavefront sensorless approach resulted in images that rivaled those acquired using traditional wavefront sensor-based adaptive optics techniques and when imaging dilated pupils provided even higher contrast images. Because sensorless control requires less light for aberration correction it offers potential advantages for imaging light-sensitive patients such as those suffering from rhodopsin disorders in retinitis pigmentosa. In addition, it offers advantages for applications such as autofluorescence imaging where sensorless control allows direct optimization of the fluorescence signal. Also, because there is no sensor required, sensorless adaptive optics offers a simpler, cheaper and more robust solution than current adaptive optics retinal imaging systems.

"Wavefront sensorless adaptive optics has been previously tested in microscopy and we are excited that Drs. Porter and Hofer have brought this to retinal imaging for this clinical application," said Paul Bierden, president and CEO of Boston Micromachines. "We are pleased to have our innovative deformable mirrors play a role in this pioneering research which could enhance the ability to better diagnose glaucoma and track the efficacy of potential treatments."

The Multi-DM
The Multi-DM offers sophisticated aberration compensation in an easy-to-use package. With 140 precisely controlled elements and low inter-actuator coupling, this system is ideal for a broad range of applications including microscopy, retinal imaging, and laser beam shaping. The high speed, high precision drive electronics are easily controlled via USB or CameraLink interface. The DM is available in both continuous and segmented surfaces for adaptive optics or spatial light modulator applications. The DMs are capable of up to 5.5 µm stroke, 100 kHz frame rate, have sub-nm step size, and zero hysteresis.

About Boston Micromachines Corporation
Founded in 1999, Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC) is the leading provider of advanced microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based mirror products for use in commercial adaptive optics systems. By applying wavefront correction to produce high resolution images, BMC devices can be used for imaging biological tissue and the human retina and to enhance images blurred by the earth's atmosphere. The company's suite of award-winning compact DM products is the most cost-effective, highest performance mirrors in the market today. They are widely used to drive scientific discovery in astronomy, laser beam shaping, microscopy, and vision science, and support a variety of defense applications. Customers include NASA, UC Berkeley, Lockheed Martin and Boston University. Located in Cambridge, MA, BMC is privately held and offers custom-designed manufacturing services in addition to its portfolio of standard DM products and adaptive optics systems. For more information on BMC, please visit

Laura MacSweeney
Red Javelin Communications
Email Contact
(781) 395-6420

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