Leading-edge imaging

Dalhousie’s Experimental Glaucoma and Imaging Laboratory has led the field of in vivo imaging for several years. Our research is primarily driven by four techniques:

Confocal scanning laser techniques

Using a confocal laser-scanning microscope, we’re not only able to generate high-resolution optical images, we’re also able to focus in on the particular depth that we need to examine. By delivering fluorescent dyes to retinal ganglion cells via intravitreal injection and viral vectors, we're able to track the cells and their changes as the disease progresses.  

Optical coherence tomography

This non-invasive imaging technique allows us to examine the individual layers of the retina using light waves. Using this technique lets us measure the changes in the various retinal and optic nerve head components that are caused by glaucoma.

Monitoring changes in retinal ganglion cells

We are now able to monitor how glaucoma can change individual retinal ganglion cells. Quantifying cell loss caused by optic nerve damage is accomplished using immunohistochemistry for different protein markers. We also use several strains of transgenic mice that express fluorophores to track changes in retinal cells after optic nerve injury.

Two-photon microscopy

This method allows us to obtain three-dimensional optical images and perform functional imaging. Although the resolution isn’t as high as images produced by confocal scanning lasers microscopes, two-photon microscopes have deeper tissue penetration and cause less photodamage. Watch a video of two-photon imaging of calcium indicator GcAMP.