Development of Artefact-Free Imaging System for Accurate Meibomian Gland Reflectivity Assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To develop and evaluate a custom imaging system to provide high-resolution, wide depth-of-field, reflection-free, multispectral infrared (IR) imaging of the Meibomian glands.

Methods: Lower eyelids of 15 volunteers were everted to obtain multispectral images of the Meibomian glands with custom imaging setup. Photographs were captured at 10 different ISO settings (from underexposure to overexposure) and using nine IR imaging filters (ranging from 600 nm to 1000 nm in 50-nm steps). Meibomian gland contrast (simple and Michelson) was calculated for the images to choose an optimal wavelength for Meibomian gland imaging and to determine differences in contrast across individuals.

Results: The overall linear regression model showed a significant effect of wavelength on Meibomian gland contrast (Simple contrast: F = 7.24, P < 0.0001; Michelson contrast: F = 7.19, P < 0.0001). There was a significant negative correlation between Meibomian gland contrast and Meibomian gland depth for 750-nm IR filter (ρs= -0.579; P = 0.026).

Conclusions: Meibomian gland contrast varies across individuals and depends on Meibomian gland depth. IR filter of 750 nm is the optimal choice for Meibomian gland imaging because it provides images of greatest contrast.

Translational relevance: This study adds to our understanding of Meibomian gland imaging. It has successfully demonstrated that Meibomian glands that are deeper in the tarsal plate require longer wavelengths for imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalTranslational vision science & technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2023


  • meibography
  • meibomian gland contrast
  • meibomian gland imaging
  • meibomian gland intensity
  • meibomian glands


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