3D Printing in Ophthalmology: Smartphone Slit-Lamp Adapter for Diagnostics

Share this Article

A trio of researchers from hospitals in Egypt and India recently published a paper, titled “Custom-made three-dimensional-printed adapter for smartphone slit-lamp photography,” about their work designing a custom 3D printed smartphone slit-lamp adapter for photography applications in ophthalmology. A slit-lamp consists of a high-intensity light source, used with a biomicroscope, that can be focused to shine light into the eye for examination of the anterior and posterior segments in order to diagnose many conditions, like macular degeneration, cataracts, corneal injuries, and a detached retina.

3D printed adapter fixed on eyepiece to refine the sizing.

Many people have smartphones these days, and they are being paired more often with 3D printing for diagnostic and imaging purposes, especially in the offices of eye doctors.

“Smartphone photography in ophthalmology has a wide variety of uses including examination with or without other examination tools such as slit lamp or condensing lenses,” the researchers wrote. “Smartphones can be used for fundus photography,[2],[3],[4] slit-lamp photography,[5] microscope-free anterior segment photography,[6] gonioscopy,[7] and more.[5]

3D printed adapters can help make these tasks more efficient, as they are a quick, low-cost option. Custom adapters are built for just one smartphone design and slit lamp, while universal adapters can be adjusted to fit many designs. There are pros and cons for each option, which is why these researchers chose to “combine the advantages of both approaches” for their 3D printed smartphone slit-lamp adapter.

Two copies of the blink 3D printed slit-lamp adapter (in gray and black ABS material) fixed to universal smartphone holders.

“It is built upon a commercially available part used in selfie sticks and tripods which is used to hold the phone,” they explained. “The rest of the adapter is designed and 3D printed to enable attaching the mobile with that holder to the selected eyepiece.”

Smartphone fixed on the Blink adapter and placed on slit-lamp eyepiece.

The goal was to make a design that complements different slit-lamps and automatically fits the microscope eyepiece that slides into the adapter; gravity, plus the weight of the smartphone, will keep it in place.  Then all of you have to do is place the phone’s camera against the eyepiece. The team named their creation Blink, for its “ease of use and quick adjustment like in a blink of an eye.”

After they chose their target slit-lamp microscope, the researchers used Vernier calipers to measure the eyepiece, and used the dimensions to create a CAD model of the adapter in Tinkercad. They refined the model using SketchUp, and prepared it for printing with Repetier software. The adapter was then 3D printed out of ABS material on a Rostock MAX v2 3D printer from SeeMeCNC.

Measurements of slit-lamp eyepiece being taken with digital Vernier calipers.

The 3D printed adapter was then fixed to the universal smartphone holder, and finally the fitting was “tested and refined to account for manufacturing tolerances.” Once the smartphone was placed in the holder, the device was attached to the slit-lamp’s eyepiece for easy imaging.

“The blink 3D-printed smartphone slit-lamp adapter was successfully designed, modeled, 3D-printed, and tested,” the researchers wrote. “Each type of slit-lamp eyepiece required a small modification in the 3D design based on measurements. Good-quality images could be captured in diffuse, slit, retro, and cobalt-blue illumination.”

The time it took to remove and modify the device was only seconds, which makes the 3D printed adapter very useful in slit-lamp photography.

“More units can be easily made by printing the same CAD file and fixing it to the universal smartphone holding bracket,” the researchers noted.

Additionally, the team confirmed that they could image the fundus – the part of the eyeball opposite the pupil – using a 90D lens.

“Our article describes the process of designing and building a smartphone slit-lamp adapter to solve the problem of slit-lamp photography,” the researchers concluded. “The cost of 3D printing a small part such as the adapter described here is small and can be done at a 3D printing shop which is available in all major cities in India, Egypt, and many other countries. Most of the work involved is in designing the CAD model according to measurements and physical constraints.

“Development of this type of innovation from idea to virtual design to hardware does not need much time or money – only an innovative mind and the drive to learn these new techniques.”

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

Share this Article


Recent News

Modern Foundry: Analysis & Design Guidelines for 3D Printed Plastic Casts

Comparing 3D-Printed and Traditional Guide Plates for Placing Orthodontic Brackets



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

The Role of Occupational Therapists in 3D Printing & DIY Assistive Technology

Researchers from Belgium and The Netherlands offer the details of their recent study ‘Makers in Healthcare: The Role of Occupational Therapists in the Design of DIY Assistive Technology,’ exploring the...

New Frameworks for Contour-Parallel Toolpaths in FDM 3D Printing

Researchers Tim Kuipers, Eugni L. Doubrovski, Jun Wu, and Charlie C.L. Wang have released the findings of a new study in the recently published ‘A framework for adaptive width control...

PolarOnyx Researchers Use Mixed Powders and Laser 3D Printing to Make Radial Collimators

A collimator is a device that narrows a beam of particles or waves, and radial collimators can oscillate several degrees at a sample position. That’s why neutron collimators are used...

3D-Printed Bioplastics Analyzed for Material Defects & Degradation

Researchers from Poland and Spain seek more answers in the realm of materials science, releasing their findings in ‘Three-Dimensional Printed PLA and PLA/PHA Dumbbell-Shaped Specimens: Material Defects and Their Impact...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!