LighTopTech Corp. Receives Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Award from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Gabor-domain optical coherence microscopy and machine learning will provide an unbiased, automated assessment of corneal tissue for evaluating tissue viability prior to transplant.

W HENRIETTA, NY – LighTopTech Corp., an upstate New York-based company building innovative optical instruments to bring to market disruptive imaging technologies industrial and medical fields, has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH Phase II award will allow LighTopTech to develop the first 3D high-definition imaging instrument based on Gabor-Domain Optical Coherence Microscopy (GDOCM) for quantitative assessment of corneal tissue at eye banks. LighTopTech will develop and apply machine learning methods to automatically segment the endothelial cells of the cornea and count them to assess the endothelial cell density, an important metric used by eye banks and corneal surgeon to qualify corneal tissue prior to transplant. 

Cristina Canavesi, PhD, MBA, President of LighTopTech, is the Principal investigator of this Phase II SBIR award. “The cornea is the most commonly transplanted tissue worldwide, with approximately 185,000 transplants performed each year,” notes Canavesi. “While highly successful, corneal transplants require important post-operative monitoring to optimize outcomes, and can reject or fail. There is a need for a more sensitive method for objective evaluation of corneal tissue – in vivo to aid in clinical disease management, as well as ex vivo to improve donor corneal tissue evaluation methods for eye banking.”

 “Combining advanced image processing and machine learning methods with LighTopTech’s high-definition Gabor-Domain Optical Coherence Microscopy 3D imaging capability opens a new avenue for eye banks to perform quantitative, unbiased analysis of corneal tissue”, says Canavesi. “Our technology can reduce the high subjectivity of the current process, thereby leading to greater release of tissues worldwide and improving the cost-benefit analysis for transplantation on a global scale.”

About LighTopTech
LighTopTech is an Upstate New York-based manufacturer focused on creating new possibilities in medical imaging and materials manufacturing towards a better collective future with its noninvasive imaging technology. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter @lightoptech.

Contact President Cristina Canavesi.