Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are light sensitive cells and were recently discovered in the human retina.
These cells contain a photopigment called melanopsin, which is responsible for many non-image forming functions, such as regulating our circadian rhythm. The ipRGCs play a role in the pupil’s response, particularly to blue light. ipRGCs have peak sensitivity to blue light between 450-485nm. The activation and function of these cells can be measured with a pupillometer.
In VERI we have developed a low-cost, non-invasive device that can measure the functionality of the ipRGCs using the pupil. This has shown promise in differentiating glaucoma people from healthy controls.