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Frame Grabber Aids Corneal Tomography

Photonics Spectra
Nov 1997
Jennifer L. Morey

Advances in medical imaging have enabled physicians to see parts of the body with unprecedented detail. In the ophthalmology arena, surgeons are using a technique called corneal tomography to image the cornea and determine its shape and thickness, as well as the location of the lens and iris.

The frame grabber in this corneal tomography system allows eye doctors to determine the shape of a patient's cornea.

One important part of a corneal tomography system is the frame grabber, through which the images are passed. Orbtek Inc., a manufacturer of ophthalmic imaging instrumentation, makes a corneal tomography device called ORBSCAN, and when the company needed a frame grabber to complement its system, it looked to Imagenation Corp.

Easy integration

ORBSCAN required real-time capture of images, as well as the opportunity to change the image offset and gain with every frame. Although this is possible with several frame grabbers on the market, Orbtek chose the PX500 from Imagenation because it was easier to integrate than similar systems and also had the ability to queue frame grabber instructions.

The ORBSCAN system works by passing a series of video images from the cornea scanning device, or acquisition head, to the frame grabber, which is located in a Pentium Pro computer. Orbtek software processes the captured images to determine the three-dimensional shape of the cornea.

Physicians use the information obtained from ORBSCAN to plan corrective refractive surgery and to diagnose various eye problems.

The system also can support vision adjustment for corneal transplant patients and is sometimes used by optometrists and opticians for fitting contact lenses.

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