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Photonics engineering for the diagnosis, follow-up and treatment of eye and blood diseases

Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
205.700,00 €
Start date
End date
Fotónica, Photonics, ambliopía, amblyopia, anemia, contact lenses, dry eye syndrome, imagen espectral, lentes de contacto, microscopy, microscopía, miopía, myopia, spectral imaging, síndrome del ojo seco
Biomedical photonics is a research field that is producing ground breaking scientific discoveries that enhance the health and life quality of
citizens and have a huge economic impact. In order to maintain Spains leading position in the field, it is crucial to invest in research and to
promote the academic-private sector partnerships that will transfer the novel technologies to the market. Accordingly, EYEBLOOD aims at
using photonics engineering in order to build new instruments and point-of-care tools as well as developing novel methods for image and
data analysis, which can remarkably improve diagnostics and follow-up of ocular and blood diseases. In particular, the following ones will
be faced: dry eye syndrome, myopia, amblyopia, and blood diseases affecting red blood cells. In some of the cases, diagnostics driven
therapy will also be proposed as a means of providing original and feasible solutions to the treatment.
The project encompasses the main research lines of the VISual Optics and SPECtral Imaging group (VISPEC), that belongs to the CD6
(Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development), a research center of the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya). The
research is structured in five main areas which are envisaged to develop: novel systems for objective non-invasive dry eye diagnosis and
in-vivo contact lens wettability assessment (WP1); new subjective refraction methods and cost-efficient objective devices for the
assessment of myopia progression with the aim of achieving more reliable, fast and accessible refraction measurements compared to
currently used procedures (WP2); new methodologies based on ocular movement records for the objective diagnosis of amblyopia and
other visual function disorders, and the definition and implementation of novel vision therapy methods in virtual reality systems (WP3);
novel methods based on imaging spectroscopy and confocal microscopy for the diagnosis of hematological diseases; in particular, those
affecting red blood cells such as inherited anemia and thalassemia (WP4); and innovative methods and software for image and data
analysis to provide new quantitative measures that can aid diagnosis and guide treatment of eye and blood diseases as well as others on
the basis of existing methods used in statistics, pattern recognition and machine learning (WP5).
Comprising twenty members of two academic institutions, three leading hospitals and one non-academic partner, EYEBLOOD brings
together an interdisciplinary team of physicists, engineers, optometrists and medical doctors, with complementary expertise in photonics
engineering, optics, optometry, ophthalmology, hematology, spectral imaging, confocal microscopy, image processing and data analysis.
The training program will provide the fellows with a broad understanding of how state-of-the-art photonics engineering technologies work.
They will apply this knowledge to progress on diagnosis, follow-up and treatment of diseases through the development of photonics-based
tools for ocular and hematological diseases, and also gain insight into clinical studies, and will open for them a wide range of job
opportunities. Therefore, the scientific and technical contributions of the project will not only bring direct societal returns through improved
health care services but they will also benefit the industrial sector creating jobs and economic growth as some of the expected outcomes
are directly transferable results.