A no-moving-parts sensor for the detection of eye fixation using polarised light and retinal birefringence information

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Polarised near-infra-red light is reflected from the foveal area in a detectable bow-tie pattern of polarisation states, offering the opportunity for eye tracking. A coaxial optical transducer was developed, consisting of a laser diode, a polariser, a filter, and a photodetector. Several such transducers may be used to interrogate different spots on the retina, thus eliminating the requirement for scanning systems with moving parts. To test the signal quality obtainable, using just one transducer, a test subject was asked to fixate successively on twelve targets located on a circle around the transducer, to simulate the retina’s being interrogated by twelve sensors placed on a 30 diameter circle surrounding the projection of the fovea. The resulting signal is close to the “ideal” sine wave that would have been recorded from a propeller-type birefringence pattern from a human fovea. The transducer can be used in the detection of fixation for medical and other purposes. It does not require calibration, strict restrictions on head position, or head-mounted appliances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 24 2017



  • Eye fixation
  • eye tracking
  • retinal birefringence sensor
  • retinal scanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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