Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Silva of the School of Optometry & Vision Science, along with Drs. Connor Kapahi and Dusan Sarenac from the Institute for Quantum Computing and Dr. Dmitry Pushin from the Faculty of Science, for receiving the Gold Award and $10K in funding to further develop their project Entangled Vision: Quantum Probes for Retinal Diagnostics.
Kapahi and his team submitted their design idea of a new quantum technological device that may one day help prevent vision loss in older adults. Kapahi explains how macular degeneration is a retinal disorder and the leading cause of blindness among people over the age of 55-years-old. But while there are lot of treatments that are effective at slowing vision loss, there are currently no treatments that can reverse the effects once vision loss occurs.
The team’s cutting-edge design received the Gold Award along with $10K in funding to help further develop their research in a diagnostic tool which uses a structured state of light to create a pattern in a person's vision, a pattern that is only visible when the patient has a healthy macula. By developing a diagnostic tool that clinicians can add to their standard eye exam, doctors will then be able to detect macular degeneration in patients earlier on during routine visits and provide the specific treatment for patients with early-stage vision loss.
“It is great that our idea is getting recognition because research in general has a lot of ups and downs… really high-highs and really low-lows,” Kapahi says. “So, it is great to feel validated that the idea we have makes sense and that other people agree that this research is valuable and can work outside the lab.”
Kapahi and his team aim to use the $10K funding towards applying for a patent, while continuing to develop their research project into a startup to commercialize their diagnostic tool in the future. The team has already created a device that can only be used in a research environment and is currently being tested at the University of Waterloo.
Read more about the quantum research groups who received funding.