09 February 2018 ICFO member of the MERLIN Project

Consortium members of the Kick-off meeting

ICFO participates in the MERLIN project, aimed to deliver breakthrough medical technology to image the back of the eye. Recently, a consortium of European industrial, scientific and medical partners, which include ICFO, has gathered in Paris to attend the kick off meeting of the MERLIN project. With the aim of developing breakthrough medical instrumentation for imaging the back of the eye, MERLIN’s applications will encompass a wide range of pathologies that impact the eye’s retina, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as chronic vascular conditions, including diabetes.

The MERLIN project will address these critical needs with a new retinal imaging device. The objective is to provide three-dimensional views and analyses of changes in single cells and in the smallest blood vessels inside patients’ eyes. Fast non-contact examinations with the MERLIN device will offer a level of detail that is currently unavailable to doctors. To achieve these goals, the project will combine several cutting-edge technologies, including scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO), optical coherence tomography (OCT), multimodal image registration and segmentation, as well as adaptive optics (AO), which have been previously developed by the MERLIN partners.

As a member of the consortium, ICFO’s research group led by SLN Head Dr. Pablo Loza, will be in charge of designing and implementing the AO-SLO system. This system will be able to provide aberration-corrected, magnified images at high resolution, allowing the observation of cones and rods. The research team at ICFO will also implement a retinal tracking functionality to eliminate, in real time, any possible image artifacts due to involuntary eye motion.

The project consortium unites the following partners: Imagine Eyes SA, the Medical University of Viena, ICFO, the Erasmus Medical Center’s Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, the INSERM at Quinze-Vingts National Eye Hospital, and the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

Back