What is it?
The Macalar Pigment Reflectometer measures the amount of pigmentation in the macular (the yellow spot in the eye). This fast, non-invasive and extremely accurate instrument is used in research on macular degeneration. This eye disease is very common in the elderly and significantly limits vision.
What does it do?
It measures the amount of pigmentation in the macular (the yellow spot in the eye) by shining white light in the eye and analysing the light that is reflected. White light contains all of the colours and the device measures how much of each colour is being reflected. A macular with a lot of pigmentation will absorb a lot of blue light and therefore reflect very little of it. This allows researchers to quickly and objectively determine the condition of the yellow spot.
Why do we need it?
The more pigment in the macular, the better protected you probably are against developing macular degeneration. This eye disease is very common in the elderly and significantly limits vision. Scientists at Maastricht University researched which types of food increase pigmentation. Broccoli and spinach are already known to contain the crucial substances Lutein and Zeaxantine.
What are the advantages?
It is fast, non-invasive and extremely accurate. Before this device, patients were asked to perform relatively complicated tasks, which proved difficult for older individuals. Other tests required the dilation of the pupil with eye drops. This is no longer necessary with the MPR. It is also the only device that can distinguish between Lutein and Zeaxantine in the macular.
Any other features?
The device was originally developed at Utrecht University by researcher Tos Berenschot and his colleagues. They sold the patent to an American firm that later commissioned them to build seven more MPRs for leading research colleagues in the UK, Germany, Canada and the US. This facilitated scientific scalability – which is essential to scientific research. Maastricht Instruments built the seven MPRs in consultation with Berenschot.
- Research product
- Fast assessment of the central macular pigment density with natural pupil using the macular pigment reflectometer. van de Kraats et al. J. Biomed. Opt. 11(6), 064031 (November 22, 2006)
- Lutein and zeaxanthin measured separately in the living human retina with fundus reflectometry. van de Kraats et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Dec;49(12):5568-73.