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Supporting world-class scientific and clinical research into sight loss

Functional Retinal Imager

The Roper-Hall Eye Foundation (through the Barbara Mary Wilmot Discretionary Trust) has purchased an OcuMet Beacon device for the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC)

The retina is the light-sensitive inner lining of the eye that turns light entering the eye into millions of electrical impulses that eventually pass to the brain so that we can see. Its function requires healthy mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of all living cells, providing energy for various functions including control of metabolism, inflammation and cell health. Any abnormality associated with mitochondrial function can potentially harm the cell and affect the function of that organ. 


Damage to mitochondria in the retina causes inflammation, cell death and sight loss, but until now we have no way to assess the function of these mitochondria. Recent studies have shown that mitochondrial damage is associated with the accumulation of a specific substance called ‘flavoprotein’. This flavoprotein can be measured in the retina using a machine called OcuMet Beacon. Importantly, OcuMet Beacon can detect mitochondrial damage during the early stages of blinding eye conditions before we can detect any retinal changes seen in the clinic. This may allow us to detect and treat retinal disease for example, uveitis, diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration before any irreversible visual loss occurs. The device is automated, easy to use, and only takes 5 minutes to image a patient. 

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The Roper-Hall Eye Foundation (through the Barbara Mary Wilmot Discretionary Trust) has purchased a NIDEK Gonioscope GS-1 for the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC)

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Raised pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve causing loss of vision. The ‘angle’ of the eye is a critical structure in the front of the eye that regulates and maintains intraocular (eye) pressure. The ‘angle’ referred to here is the angle between the iris, the coloured part of the eye, and the cornea, the clear-window front part of the eye. The angle is the location where the fluid that is produced inside the eye, the aqueous humour, drains out of the eye into the body’s circulatory system. The BMEC Glaucoma Service has led the way in many innovative surgical interventions for the treatment of glaucoma.


Many modern glaucoma surgeries target the angle to lower eye pressure. A better understanding is required of the post-operative appearance of the angle following angle-based procedures, such as the position of angle stents and drainage tubes. Examination and visualisation of the angle is known as ‘gonioscopy’. The NIDEK goniscope G1 facilitates high quality imaging of the angle and will enhance clinical outcomes, training and research through objective critical evaluation of the post-operative angle appearance and location of surgical devices used to lower eye pressure.


Video Imaging Cameras

The Roper-Hall Eye Foundation (through the Barbara Mary Wilmot Discretionary Trust) has purchased two state-of-the-art high-resolution digital anterior segment video imaging cameras (Zeiss SL Imaging Solution) for the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC)

The provision of high quality and easily accessible photographic and video imaging of the front of the eye will allow documentation of findings, aid in diagnosis, improve teaching, increase patient education, and will be invaluable in research studies and clinical trials. 


These cameras will be of great benefit to patients with corneal and ocular surface inflammatory conditions, such as potentially sight-threatening corneal infections that are frequently seen in the Emergency Department at BMEC. The cameras will allow clinicians immediate and on demand access to high quality photographic facilities, 24/7 365 days per year that is vital for documentation of disease progression and monitoring of patient response to treatment.


Ocular Surface Disease

The Roper-Hall Eye Foundation has purchased (through the Barbara Mary Wilmot Discretionary Trust) a Casia2 Ocular Coherence Tomography Scanner for the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC) 

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-contact medical imaging technique that uses a laser as a light source to obtain a high-resolution cross-section of the human body and is one of the ground-breaking developments in ophthalmic science that enabled significant progress in the assessment of conditions affecting the retina (the innermost layer at the back of the eye), such as age-related macular degeneration. More recently advances in the field have enabled the application of this technology to the front of the eye. Using the Casia2 OCT scanner we hope to generate new imaging assessment techniques that will help researchers develop better treatments, and inform clinician decision making, thereby improving the care delivered to patients worldwide. 

 Scarring of the eye may affect the cornea, which is the clear front window of the eye. Corneal scarring can be devastating and sight threatening. We are developing an anti-scarring eye drop for patients with corneal infections that will soon be tested in a clinical trial. As part of this project, we aim to use the Casia2 to develop a software-based tool to assess the degree of scarring in the cornea of our patients. 

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