EIC Transition Project NanoVision
Seeing is believing & understanding. Optical microscopes are still indispensable tools in life science and medicine after hundreds of year. The core value they hold is their capability to magnify and make small featurs visible, therefore serving as our windows into cells. For the same reason, there is a continuous motivation to improve their resolution, i.e. the smallest feature that can be visualized by a microscope. The invention of super-resolution optical microscopy (nanoscopy) has given us a glimpse of its impact in all fields of science and medical care. Imagine the new scientific discoveries that can be realized if every research and clinical laboratory is equipped with an optical nanoscope that can deliver super-resolution imaging enabling researchers a window to nanoscale biology. However, several pain points of the available solutions currently hinder wide scale penetration of optical nanoscopy, such as cost, complexity, small throughput, and limited flexibility.
NanoVision will fill this pressing gap in the market with an affordable, compact, multi-modal and high-throughput photonic-chip based optical nanoscopy. Present day nanoscope uses a "simple glass slide" to hold the sample and a "complex and bulky microscope set-up" to illuminate and image. We change the current paradigm to "a mass-producible photonic-chip" to hold and illuminate the sample and a "simple and compact optical microscope" to image it. Our radical idea is thus to take out laser light steering and delivery from the microscope and transfer it to a photonic-chip. Photonic-chip based nanoscopy improves the throughput by a factor of 100x besides reducing the cost by 2x, which will not only extend the present market of nanoscopy but could also open new market opportunities. An university spin-off from UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, Chip NanoImaging AS is commercializing this patentable technology (www.chipnano.com).
Within, EIC-Transition NanoVision project we will build an automated prototype and perform on-site user-testing in life sciences and clinical pathology market segments.
Figure: Key proposition of NanoVision: Increasing the throughput of the present-day super-resolution optical microscopes while making it affordable for large market segment.