Become a part of the CRATER Conference! September 7-8, 2023 in Warsaw

The Conference on Recent Advances in Translational Eye Research 2023 (CRATER 2023) is a platform for all researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs whose interests focus on the eye, to meet and discuss frontiers of the research, commercialization, and translation of the studies. The first edition of the CRATER, prepared by members of the ICTER community, will be held in Warsaw on 7-8 September 2023 in Copernicus Science Center.

The conference will provide space for discussion between specialists from different fields who are united in their pursuit to understand better the challenges of eye imaging, the process of vision, and formation of eye diseases. During this international and interdisciplinary event, participants will discuss frontiers of research on new methods and tools enabling diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and also ideas on how to facilitate rapid implementation of new eye therapies.

The conference is chaired by Andrew Dick (Institute of Ophthalmology University College of London, UK), Krzysztof Palczewski (University of Irvine, USA) and Maciej Wojtkowski (International Centre for Translational Eye Research, Poland). Their work is supported by the International Scientific Committee comprising luminaries of the eye-related research community: Pablo Artal, Chris Dainty, Francesca Fanelli, Arie Gruzman, Alison Hardcastle, Karl-Wilhelm Koch, Serge Picaud and Olaf Strauss.

Detailed information on the conference’s, including a list of invited speakers, is available on the conference webpage – crater.icter.pl.

Registration for the Conference on Recent Advances in Translational Eye Research 2023 which is organised by ICTER is already open, with early registration fee available until 30 June 2023. You can contribute to the program and present your research results – the call for abstracts is open until 13 May 2023 (extended deadline).


ICTER scientists re-engineer the study of the cornea

A press release related to the paper “Multimode fiber enables control of spatial coherence in Fourier-domain full-field optical coherence tomography for in vivo corneal imaging” by Egidijus Auksorius, Dawid Borycki, and Maciej Wojtkowski, has been published on AlphaGalileo on July 29th, 2021.

Here is the AlphaGalileo press release:

A pioneer eye imaging discovery: ICTER scientists re-engineer the study of the cornea.


Telehealth applications

Smartphone-based optical palpation: towards elastography of skin for telehealth applications

Rowan W. Sanderson, Qi Fang, Andrea Curatolo, Aiden Taba, Helen M. DeJong, Fiona M. Wood, and Brendan F. Kennedy


Smartphones are now integral to many telehealth services that provide remote patients with an improved diagnostic standard of care. The ongoing management of burn wounds and scars is one area in which telehealth has been adopted, using video and photography to assess the repair process over time. However, a current limitation is the inability to evaluate scar stiffness objectively and repeatedly: an essential measurement for classifying the degree of inflammation and fibrosis. Optical elastography detects mechanical contrast on a micrometer- to millimeter-scale, however, typically requires expensive optics and bulky imaging systems, making it prohibitive for wide-spread adoption in telehealth. More recently, a new variant of optical elastography, camera-based optical palpation, has demonstrated the capability to perform elastography at low cost using a standard digital camera. In this paper, we propose smartphone-based optical palpation, adapting camera-based optical palpation by utilizing a commercially available smartphone camera to provide sub-millimeter resolution imaging of mechanical contrast in scar tissue in a form factor that is amenable to telehealth. We first validate this technique on a silicone phantom containing a 5 × 5 × 1 mm3 embedded inclusion, demonstrating comparative image quality between mounted and handheld implementations. We then demonstrate preliminary in vivo smartphone-based optical palpation by imaging a region of healthy skin and two scars on a burns patient, showing clear mechanical contrast between regions of scar tissue and healthy tissue. This study represents the first implementation of elastography on a smartphone device, extending the potential application of elastography to telehealth.

Link to publication



Dr. Andrzej Foik – leader of the Ophthalmic Biology Group got granting under SONATA 16 funded by NSC

Source: www.ncn.gov.pl

On May 20, 2021, the Polish National Science Center announced the results of the SONATA 16 competition. One of the winners was our colleague, OBi group leader, Dr. Andrzej Foik. The topic of the winning competition is the role of the basal part of the crescentic brain in visual information processing. Find more information about the winning Project.


NSC announced the results of the competition for Polish-Lithuanian research projects – DAINA 2. Prof. Wojtkowski and Dr. Auksorius are among the winners

Source: www.ncn.gov.pl

On May 4, 2021 Polish National Science Center announced the results of the competition for Polish-Lithuanian research projects – DAINA 2. Prof. Wojtkowski and Dr. Auksorius are among the winners The topic of their winning project is Volumetric image reconstruction with filtering of redundant phase information. Find more information about the winning Project.


In vivo corneal imaging

Multimode fiber enables control of spatial coherence in Fourier-domain full-field optical coherence tomography for in vivo corneal imaging

Egidijus Auksorius, Dawid Borycki, and Maciej Wojtkowski


Fourier-domain full-field optical coherence tomography (FD-FF-OCT) has recently emerged as a fast alternative to point-scanning confocal OCT in eye imaging. However, when imaging the cornea with FD-FF-OCT, a spatially coherent laser can focus down on the retina to a spot that exceeds the maximum permissible exposure level. Here we demonstrate that a long multimode fiber with a small core can be used to reduce the spatial coherence of the laser and, thus, enable ultrafast in vivo volumetric imaging of the human cornea without causing risk to the retina.

Link to publication



Adenine base editing

Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) located at the back of the eye is essential for vision. It supports the photoreceptors, providing molecules required for their function. One of the main proteins produced by the RPE and indispensable for vision is the RPE65 enzyme, which is responsible for chemical signaling at the initial step of visual processing. De novo nonsense mutations in the Rpe65 gene underlie inherited genetic disorders of the eyes, resulting in blindness. To address this problem, we have harnessed the power of adenine base editors (ABEs) with Cas9 – single-guide RNA machinery to target  the mutations in the Rpe65 gene for their repair. We delivered genes coding for ABEs and the Cas9 system subretinally via a lentiviral vector. Our therapeutic manipulation corrected the pathogenic mutation in a mouse model with up to 29% efficiency and with minimal formation of indel and off-target mutations. The ABE-treated mice displayed restored RPE65 expression and its activity in the visual cycle. Moreover, we have observed near-normal levels of retinal and visual functions. Our findings motivate the further testing of ABEs for the treatment of inherited retinal diseases and for the correction of pathological mutations with non-canonical protospacer-adjacent motifs.


dr Andrzej Foik, e-mail: afoik@ichf.edu.pl & dr Anna Posłuszny, e-mail: aposluszny@ichf.edu.pl

Pertinent published article:

Restoration of visual function in adult mice with an inherited retinal disease via adenine base editing

Susie Suh, Elliot H. Choi, Henri Leinonen, Andrzej T. Foik, Gregory A. Newby, Wei-Hsi Yeh, Zhiqian Dong, Philip D. Kiser, David C. Lyon, David R. Liu & Krzysztof Palczewski, Nat Biomed Eng. 2021 Feb;5(2):169-178.



Visually evoked potential plasticity

One of the methods for evoking plasticity in the visual system is repeated stimulation with appropriate visual stimuli. Repeated exposure to sensory stimuli can induce neuronal network changes in the cortical circuits and improve the perception of these stimuli in the primary visual cortex (V1). The aim of our studies was to investigate the effect of repetitive visual training on the magnitude of visual responses in the primary visual cortex and in the superior colliculus (SC), the subcortical structure of the extrageniculate visual pathway in rats. Our study showed that a three-hour, passive visual training with light flashes enhanced visual responses both at the cortical level and in the superior colliculus. The next part of our study focused on distinguishing which input projection is responsible for the observed training effect in the SC, especially whether the increase of collicular response depends on the enhancement in the V1. The SC receives information both from the retina and from layer 5 of the V1. The experiment with pharmacological blocking of V1 did not suppress training-related plasticity in the SC. These results for the first time identified the superior colliculus as a possible target for training strategies to improve the efficiency of the visual process; e.g., in the case of primary visual cortex injuries.


dr Katarzyna Kordecka, e-mail: kkordecka@ichf.edu.pl


Cortical Inactivation Does Not Block Response Enhancement in the Superior Colliculus

Katarzyna Kordecka, Andrzej T. Foik, Agnieszka Wierzbicka and Wioletta J. Waleszczyk