Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so the saying goes. But it probably isn’t a tiny network of caves and tunnels that old romantics are thinking about. This view of the blood vessels at the back of the eye was assembled from laser eye scans that have been digitally cleaned and coloured. The resulting 3D terrain has been artificially illuminated – a bit like the landscape of a video game – and looks inviting to explore. Mapping the eye out in this way is not just for miniature tourism, though. These vessels, from the choroid, supply around 70% of blood circulation to the eye and their damage can lead to blurred vision or even blindness. The technique used here, called optical coherence tomography, is being tested as diagnostic tool for spotting the early signs of retinal diseases and unexpected bumps in the landscape that may be cancerous.
Written by John Ankers
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.