MapcatSF Measures Macular Pigment

The protective macular pigment is a thin layer of yellowish tissue that lays directly in front of the macula region of the central retina. The macula is responsible for seeing fine details and colors. The macular pigment is very important for maintaining high-quality vision because it protects the central retina in two distinct ways.

First, the protective pigment blocks or absorbs damaging UV radiation from sunlight before it strikes the retina. Excessive UV radiation is now known to cause oxidative damage in the eye and studies show that excessive UV exposure is a significant risk factor for macular degeneration.

Second, the protective macular pigment serves as a platform to regulate and eliminate the oxidative and inflammatory waste bi-products of natural retinal metabolic activity. Since the retina is the most metabolically active region of the body, significant levels of oxidative and inflammatory metabolic wastes are constantly being produced. Without proper regulation and elimination of these wastes, damage can occur to the retina.

The images below show a cross-section of the central retina. Note the layer of yellowish tissue that lies immediately in front of the central retina. This tissue is the protective macular pigment.

mapcatSF - Macular Pigment Measuring Device


The MapcatSF was developed to provide a quick, easy, accurate and repeatable test to measure the macular pigment optical density (MPOD). MPOD essentially provides a measure of the thickness of this macular pigment tissue by determining the amount of UV radiation that is being absorbed. The macular pigment strongly absorbs light in the UV range of 455 to 460 nm.

How the MapcatSF Works

To measure MPOD, the MapcatSF incorporates a technique called customized Heterochromatic Flicker Photometry, which presents to the patient alternating blue and green lights of specific wavelengths and specific flicker frequencies. The MPOD is determined as the patient responds to these flickering lights. The MapcatSF is a special and unique device because it incorporates methodologies and technologies, developed by Dr Richard Bone, that overcome the major flaws in other MPOD measurement devices. Specifically, the human lens also absorbs UV radiation. Other devices are not able to accurately determine how much of the absorption is due to the lens and how much is due to the macular pigment. The MapcatSF is the first and only device that overcomes this fatal flaw. The special technology can separately measure and report the UV absorption of the lens and the macular pigment, separately. Research shows the MapcatSF data is much more accurate and reliable than competing devices. This technology is protected by patents in both United States and Europe.

Commercial MapCatSF Released in Q2 2018

MapcatSF prototypes have been used in research since 2012. In Q2 2018, the first commercial MapcatSFs entered the market.

mapcatSF - Macular Pigment Measuring Device
MapCat Device for Measuring MPOD