Mission of the LBI for Retinology and Biomicroscopic Laser Surgery

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Retinology and biomicroscopic Laser Surgery (LBI Retina) has terminated its research activities under the aegis of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (www.lbg.ac.at) by end of 2014. This website will not be updated anymore. All information on this website relates to past events and research activities and shall be regarded as an archive.

The research activities of the LBI Retina are continued at the new Karl-Landsteiner-Institut for Retinal Research and Imaging.
Information and Requests under:

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute (LBI) for Retinology and biomicroscopic Laser Surgery was established in 1997 at the Department of Ophthalmology, Rudolf Foundation Clinic, Vienna, Austria (Chief: Prof. Dr. Susanne Binder).

Our Institute conducts clinical and experimental research with an exploratory focus on retinal pathologies, especially age related macular degeneration (AMD), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and vitreoretinal diseases.

The main interests in our research on AMD include the evaluation of new treatment modalities and the investigation on the disease’s pathogenesis and its diagnosis. In this context, we also verify our results on intraocular ant- VEGF( vascular endothelial growth factor ) therapies in neovascular AMD and participate in several multi center trials concerning this topic. Autologous transplantation of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE), as a possible surgical treatment option for AMD, was started as a research programme in 1998 and is now technically refined and evaluated in prospective clinical trials in the last years. Moreover our Institute conducted cell studies together with the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and “Tissue Tech” in Miami on amniotic membrane as a basal lamina for RPE transplants, both resulting in several top papers. Other experimental projects with the Stanford University and the University Clinic of Cardiff include the creation of an artificial RPE cell basal layer and the rejuvenation of adult RPE cells. In addition, genetic studies on genes associated with the pathogenesis of AMD have been performed successfully. More recently our institute presented interesting new results on the role of the vitreous interface in AMD pathogenesis that obtained high acceptance in the international scientific community.

The optical coherence tomography (OCT), an new important non invasive examination method, which - in contrast to the standard invasive fluoresceine angiography used for retinal diagnosis over more than 15 years- is the second major chapter in the institutes research. In particular we evaluate the latest generation of OCT`S, an instrument that generates cross sectional images of the retina by using short wavelength laser light. In a cooperation with Prof. Wolfgang Drexler (Technical University Vienna and Cardiff University) we used a prototype, the ultra high resolution OCT to evaluate early intraretinal changes after anti-angiogenic therapy. Moreover with the use of a newly developed OCT machine and special computer software we significantly improved the three dimensional appearance of retinal images and can therefore produce pictures and animations offering new and impressive insights on various retinal pathologies.

The field of vitreoretinal diseases represents the third main area of research. Several prospective studies evaluated the use of new and smaller surgical instruments that allow sutureless vitreous surgery in retinal diseases. As a consequence we found that interventions can be performed more precise, with lesser surgical trauma and a faster patient recovery is reached. Moreover we focus on new surgical therapies for central retinal vein occlusion, a topic on which we have initiated a multi-center clinical trial, we have performed studies on the problem of diabetic macular edema and analyze tolerability and possible toxidity of different tissue-dyes, which provide a better intraoperative visualisation of transparent epiretinal membranes.