The unit is mainly focused on imaging, analyzing morphological structures and assessing morphological abnormalities in rodent eyes. All tests are non-invasive which allows long-term studies with repeated examination of eye structures. These primary examinations are routinely performed in all mice coming to the unit. More info

In special cases such as obvious morphological pathology of retina or special requests (e.g. mouse model for the retinopathy), the function of the retina is proved by electroretinography (ERG). Imaging devices with high image quality and resolution are used to examine the anterior segment (Pentacam) and retina (Optical coherent tomograph – OCT).

Standard services Optical Coherence Tomography

This non-invasive imaging procedure is used to examine the posterior part of the eye (retina and retinal blood vessels). An anaesthetised animal is placed on a platform and the spectral domain OCT, integrated with confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO), is used to produce a detailed cross-sectional image of the retina and retinal blood vessels. This approach enables us to detect and analyze a wide range of mouse retinal pathologies, including changes in retinal thickness and layering, and in retinal vessel number or localisation. It is also possible to assess dynamic processes like edema formation or retinal degeneration.

Representative images acquired by OCT-device (Heidelberg-Engineering).

Fundus picture of the posterior pole of the mouse eye (A), an image of the retina incl. retinal layers (B) and the retinal thickness profile (C) of the fundus (cross-section line depicted in figure A).
A retinal thickness map showing averages across 3 circular areas of the fundus: optic disc and neighbouring areas at diameters of 1,2,3 mm.
Movie of a reconstructed 3D-retinal model from 49 consecutive cross-sectional images of the fundus.

Virtual Vision Test

This behaviour test provides a non-invasive functional analysis of visual performance in mice. The OptoMotry© system uses the tracking of optokinetic head and neck movements, that are reflexive in the mouse for the screening of functional vision. In this test, a mouse stands on an elevated platform in the epicenter of an arena surrounded by computer monitors, and a camera images the behavior of the animal from above. With the changing of threshold of spatial frequency, contrast, and motion of the grating, we are able to determine the visual acquity („clarity of vision“) of the tested animal. The advantage of this test is that animals with no previous exposure to the task can be tested and the measurements can be repeated regularly. This method can provide a powerful test of visual performance in gentically modified and pharmacologically treated mice.


Electroretinography is a non-invasive diagnostic test that measures electrical responses of retina evoked by light stimulation. An anaesthetised animal is placed on a heated table inside a full-field stimulation globe (ganzfeld) and retinal responses are obtained using active electrodes placed on the cornea and reference and ground needle electrodes placed subcutaneously in the snout and at the animals’ back, respectively. The recorded signals obtained under various light conditions, stimulation intensities and timing protocols allow to individually assess the function of different retinal cell types, rods, cones, ON-bipolar cells, and, to some extend, also ganglion or amacrine cells. The standard stimulation protocols consist of single flashes of different intensity, slow (5 Hz) and fast (30 Hz) flicker and a long pulses in both dark-adapted (scotopic) and light-adapted (photopic) conditions. If needed, the protocols can be adapted to offer specific features, in example measurement of rod adaptation kinetics or stimulation by color light.

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Custom services Histology

­Standard histological staining with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E stain) can be performed on paraffin or frozen sections of embryonic or adult mouse eyes. This primary histological staining provides basic information about eye morphology.


Immunofluorescent (immunohistochemical) detection of specific lens and retina markers can be performed on paraffin or frozen sections of embryonic or adult mouse eyes. Analysis of specific lens or retinal markers can provide more detailed information about cell types present in these tissues and extend findings from H&E staining.

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