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Special microscope microspectrophotometer: Optical design and application to the determination of waveguide properties of frog rods

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Abstract

A special-purpose microscope microspectrophotometer permits the light distribution from photoreceptor waveguides to be separately isolated and masked both at the waveguide termination and at the far field. Single units or small groups of photoreceptors can be studied, and the patterns analyzed densitometrically or spectrophotometrically. The light patterns can be tracked from near to far field in order to follow the relationship between the two distributions. Frog photoreceptor cells were isolated for study and their near-and far-field mode-pattern distributions were photographed with light passing through the retina by normal path and by reverse path. Six to nine minutes after interdicting retinal blood flow, individual fibers of the preparation appeared to be separating into multiple smaller fibers within the cell-membrane envelope. Individual frog rods were shown to be directionally transmissive, and the far-field pattern of groups of receptors appeared to be a simple combination of the individual far-field patterns. Evidence was found that the input plane of the frog receptor-fiber optic bundle may not coincide with the external limiting membrane, contrary to what has been frequently assumed.

© 1973 Optical Society of America

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Retinal Microspectrophotometry

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