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Principles of Adaptive Optics and Clinical Applications
Ann Optom Contact Lens 2021;20:5-14
Published online March 25, 2021
© 2021 The Korean Optometry & Contact Lens Study Society

Sung Pyo Park, MD, PhD

Department of Ophthalmology, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Sung Pyo Park, MD, PhD
Department of Ophthalmology, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, #150 Seongan-ro, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 05355, Korea
Tel: 82-2-2224-2274, Fax: 82-2-470-2088
* Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts to disclose.
Received March 19, 2021; Revised March 19, 2021; Accepted March 20, 2021.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The human retina is a uniquely accessible tissue. Tools like scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and spectral domain optical coherence tomography provide clinicians with remarkably clear pictures of the living retina. While the anterior optics of the eye permit such non-invasive visualization of the retina and associated pathology, these same optics induce significant aberrations that in most cases obviate cellular-resolution imaging. Adaptive optics imaging systems use active optical elements to compensate for aberrations in the optical path between the object and the camera. Applied to the human eye, adaptive optics allows direct visualization of individual rod and cone photoreceptor cells, retina pigment epithelial cells, and white blood cells. Adaptive optics imaging has changed the way vision scientists and ophthalmologists see the retina, helping to clarify our understanding of retinal structure, function, and the etiology of various retinal pathologies. Here we review some of the advances made possible with adaptive optics imaging of the human retina, and discuss applications and future prospects for clinical imaging.
Keywords : Eye; Photoreceptors; Retina

March 2021, 20 (1)