Purpose: To demonstrate the feasibility of fundus camera guided photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) system and its multimodal imaging capabilities.
Methods: We integrated PAOM and a fundus camera consisting of a white-light illuminator and a high-sensitivity, high-speed CCD. The fundus camera captures both retinal anatomy and PAOM illumination at the same time to provide a real-time feedback when we position the PAOM illuminating light. We applied the integrated system to image rat eyes in vivo and used full-spectrum, visible (VIS), and near infrared (NIR) illuminations in fundus photography.
Results: Both albino and pigmented rat eyes were imaged in vivo. During alignment, different trajectories of PAOM laser scanning were successfully visualized by the fundus camera, which reduced the PAOM alignment time from several minutes to 30 s. In albino eyes, in addition to retinal vessels, main choroidal vessels were observed using VIS-illumination, which is similar to PAOM images. In pigmented eyes, the radial striations of retinal nerve fiber layer were visualized by fundus photography using full-spectrum illumination; meanwhile, PAOM imaged both retinal vessels and the retinal pigmented epithelium melanin distribution.
Conclusions: The results demonstrated that PAOM can be well-integrated with fundus camera without affecting its functionality. The fundus camera guidance is faster and easier comparing with our previous work. The integrated system also set the stage for the next-step verification between oximetry methods based on PAOM and fundus photography.