Digital image capture and quantification of subtle lens opacities in rodents

T. M. Seeberger, Y. Matsumoto, A. Alizadeh, Paul G FitzGerald, J. I. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective method is reported for the subjective and objective documentation of subtle opacities in lenses of unanesthetized transgenic mice or selenite-injected rat pups as models for cataract formation. Animal eyes were dilated with eye drops and the animal was positioned in front of a Nikon FS2 photo slit lamp. Slit-lamp observations were recorded using a Canon Optura Pi digital video recorder. High-quality images of opacifying lenses were captured from the video and quantified using densitometry at progressive stages of opacification. In mice, targeted genomic deletion of the proteins CP49 (a lens-specific filament) or Si×5 (a model for myotonic dystrophy) resulted in subtle cataracts that were easily recorded and quantified using this instrumentation. In rats, the early progressive changes leading to a dense nuclear opacity caused by selenite injection were easily documented using this instrumentation. Low-cost components combined with a conventional slit-lamp ophthalmoscope were used to capture high-quality images of selected stages of cataract formation for quantitative analysis using commercial software.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Animal models
  • Cataract
  • Digital imaging
  • Lens
  • Opacification
  • Slit-lamp diagnostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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