New Lecturer’s Small Grant Awarded by Fight for Sight

Christos Bergeles is honoured to be a recipient of the New Lecturer’s Small Grant, awarded by Fight for Sight. Fight for Sight will support his research on 3D medical imaging device for ophthalmoscopy through equipment support.


Retinal fundus imaging, routinely performed at the practitioner’s office, provides vast amounts of information to quantify the health of an individual’s sight. Acquiring high-quality images for better condition evaluation, however, is challenging due to focus, field-of-view, and illumination constraints. Even further, it is hard to perceive the 3D structure of the retina, e.g. the depth of the optic disk, through looking only at 2D images. Thus, to improve the quality of acquired images and provide 3D retinal structure information , new methods for retinal examinations need to be devised.

What will the researcher be doing 

What we will investigate is the construction of an ophthalmoscope that captures in one shot the complete in focus 3D structure of the human eye. This ophthalmoscope will be based around new camera sensors that capitalize on state-of-the-art micromanufacturing techniques. Instead of using a single lens, as most cameras do, this new ophthalmoscope will use an array of microlenses. This allows the encoding of 3D information while giving the flexibility to adjust the image focus after the picture has been taken. Such research is only possible due to the joint progress in microengineering capabilities and the clinical understanding of disease progression. 

The researcher will conduct optical simulations and raytracing-based rendering with the goal of identifying the optimal ophthalmoscope design, developing the appropriate system architecture, and engineering the medical device. He will be responsible for creating software-based solutions that extract the 3D information from the encoded sensor information, and to investigate how to increase the resolution and clarity of the acquired images through image processing techniques.

How will the research help people with sight loss 

3D ophthalmoscopy shows great potential for glaucoma detection. When glaucoma starts developing, the optic disk changes shape as the optic nerve becomes thinner. To understand this, however, 3D images are required. The proposed ophthalmoscope will deliver these 3D images, and will thus make detection and tracking of glaucoma progression more timely and accurate.

M. Sc. thesis on Disrupting Costly Eye Examinations for Developing Economies

This M.Sc. project will be based at the UCL Translational Imaging Group, and its goal is the improvement of a cost-effective ophthalmoscope for developing economies.

Given the extensive worldwide population suffering from a potentially blinding ophthalmic pathology, innovation on intraocular observation methods is imperative. In rural societies, patients that suffer from detectable and treatable diseases, such as cataracts or retinopathy of prematurity, would benefit from easily accessible digital ophthalmoscopes. Notably, 80% of blindness is preventable when detected early. Disruptions in the miniaturisation of lenses, electronics, and mechanical components, together with ubiquitous computing through microprocessors, can instigate developments in ophthalmoscopy and reshape a field substantially based on 20th century developments.

Retinal fundus imaging is a critical task in ophthalmoscopy, and, thus, the focus of recent device innovations. Examples of new approaches to fundoscopy mainly make use of smartphone technologies. Initial approaches in 2012 entailed observing the retina using a smartphone’s camera and a handheld indirect ophthalmoscopy lens. A limiting factor of smartphone-based approaches, however, is that they do not account for the expense of the device itself. Thus, the reported costs are misleading and may amount to the cost of a hand-held commercial digital ophthalmoscope. Furthermore, the fact that 90% of blind people live in low-income countries is not considered. Their location should be examined together with the lack of smartphone penetration, e.g., only 37% of population in China, and only 19% in Kenya owns a smartphone. Contrary, truly widespread ophthalmoscopic screening will make use of ubiquitous technology, such as miniaturised inexpensive computers like the Raspberry Pi.

This M.Sc. project is about building exactly such a device: an inexpensive ophthalmoscope that is controlled by tiny computers and embedded electronics. It will consist of state-of-the-art liquid lenses and high-definition cameras, all embedded in a hand-held device. The student will be able to leverage substantial existing progress on such a device, and will be encourage to contribute his own research ideas to shape the project.

The student will learn about state-of-the-art technologies in imaging, and will be able to design and create electronic components. He/She will get the opportunity to deliver computationally efficient code that runs on Raspberry Pi and Arduino, so that all image processing can be performed without the need of an external computer or an expensive smartphone.

This project is suitable for a student with an interest in optical technologies, electronics, and software.

PhD Position, 3D Retinal Imaging and Glaucoma Monitoring

An excellent PhD candidate is sought for research on ophthalmoscopic imaging technologies. The clinical goal is to develop novel glaucoma screening methodologies and optomechatronics.

The candidate will be based in the Translational Imaging Group of the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering at University College London.

Excellent physics, math, and software background is required. Mechatronics knowledge and design skills are a plus.

The deadline for application is September 21st, and interested students can contact me for information. This funding is limited to UK/EU students.

Continue reading “PhD Position, 3D Retinal Imaging and Glaucoma Monitoring”

T-ASE Best Application Paper Award

Our paper titled “Robust Electromagnetic Control of Microrobots Under Force and Localization Uncertainties”, by H. Marino, C. Bergeles, and B. J. Nelson, published in January 2014 at the IEEE Trans. Automation Science and Engineering, will receive the T-ASE Best Application Paper Award for 2014.

More information on this publication can be found here.