A new method designed to allow repeated mapping of retinal hemodynamics on a macro- and microcirculatory level was evaluated in the primate eye. The method, called "targeted dye delivery," consists of encapsulating a fluorescent dye in temperature-sensitive liposomes, injecting the liposomes systemically, and using a light pulse from an argon laser to release a bolus of dye in a targeted retinal vessel. The follow-up of the well-defined dye front thus generated allows calculation of the blood flow and capillary transit time. Evaluation of targeted dye delivery in a monkey indicated that centerline blood velocity and the vessel diameter can be measured with a reproducibility of 10% and 4%, respectively, in vessels that are 40 microns and larger. These measurements yielded flow values that had a reproducibility of 10% on the same day and 13% on different days. The normalization of flow rate by the vessel diameter was consistent with theoretic estimates and promises to be a circulation indicator independent of variations between individual and species. The transit time across capillary beds at different locations was found to be similar, thus indicating that the method could be used to evaluate the local viability of the microcirculation.