Abstract

We have used resonant Raman scattering spectroscopy as a novel, noninvasive, in vivo optical technique to measure the concentration of the macular carotenoid pigments lutein and zeaxanthin in the living human retina of young and elderly adults. Using a backscattering geometry and resonant molecular excitation in the visible wavelength range, we measure the Raman signals originating from the single- and double-bond stretch vibrations of the π-conjugated molecule’s carbon backbone. The Raman signals scale linearly with carotenoid content, and the required laser excitation is well below safety limits for macular exposure. Furthermore, the signals decline significantly with increasing age in normal eyes. The Raman technique is objective and quantitative and may lead to a new method for rapid screening of carotenoid pigment levels in large populations at risk for vision loss from age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in the United States.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (19)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (3)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription