The eye has been called our most complex organ. Much like lasagne or liquorice allsorts, it’s made up of different layers. Nearly all of its layers have important blood vessels running through them, but until recently the vessels in the living eye could only be examined after injecting special dyes. And even then, only the topmost layers were visible. To be able to study all the vessels and without dyes, scientists have developed a special camera system. The resulting ‘fly-through’ film – each slice represented here in a different colour – could be especially useful for studying vascular changes in the late stages of macular degeneration. This eye disease causes gradual blurring of vision, and is the leading cause of visual impairment in the UK. Using the new system, researchers hope to increase their understanding of this condition, and test novel therapies that may one day see the disease cured.
Written by Emma Bornebroek
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.