Liquid crystal Adaptive Optics Visual Simulator: Application to testing and design of ophthalmic optical elements

Optics Express
Silvestre Manzanera, Pedro M. Prieto, Diego B. Ayala, Joseph M. Lindacher, Pablo Artal

The concept of Adaptive Optics Visual Simulation applies to the use of an Adaptive Optics system to manipulate ocular aberrations in order to perform visual testing through a modified optics. It can be of interest both to study the visual system and to design new ophthalmic optical elements. In this work, we describe an apparatus based on a liquid crystal programmable phase modulator and explore its capabilities as a tool in the early stages of the design of ophthalmic optical elements with increased depth of field for presbyopic subjects. To illustrate the potential of the instrument, we analyze the performance of two phase profiles obtained by a hybrid optimization procedure. The liquid crystal Adaptive Optics Visual Simulator can be used to experimentally record the point spread function for different vergences in order to objectively measure depth of focus, to perform different psychophysical experiments through the phase profile in order to measure its impact on visual performance, and to study the interaction with the eye’s particular aberrations. This approach could save several steps in current procedures of ophthalmic optical design and eventually lead to improved solutions.