First microsphere nanoscope launched


Rebecca Pool

Friday, June 16, 2017 - 13:00
Nanopsis: a widefield super resolution microscope for imaging bacteria, viruses and more.
UK-based nanotechnology start-up, LIG Nanowise, has launched Nanopsis, described as the first widefield optical super resolution that includes the most powerful objective lens in the world.
The microsphere nanoscope contains SMAL, a  super-resolution, microsphere, amplified lens, with a negative refractive index, pioneered by Professor Lin Li, Director of the Laser Processing Research Centre at the University of Manchester, and Chairman of LIG Nanowise.
With a magnification of x400, the objective lens can be attached to standard white light microscopes to dramatically increase resolution, and generate super-resolution virtual images.
“Researchers can use our microscopes to validate samples and carry out routine work in their own laboratory without having to waste valuable time booking into an imaging centre," says Lin.
"This is because unlike other super-resolution technologies, which require a huge amount of expertise, our Nanopsis nanoscopes can be used by anyone with basic undergraduate scientific training," he adds.
The Nanopsis imaging system works by using the microsphere to collect sub-wavelength light and convert it into a virtual super-resolution image.
Custom software then stitches these images together, in real-time, to generate full colour, widefield scans of materials and life samples, resolving detail down to 70 nm.
Acccording to Lin and colleagues, the super-resolution system rivals STED and STORM for biological imaging and SEM for material imaging - and costs x5 times less than the former, and 10x less than the latter.
“Reliable, repeatable imaging results are delivered at the frontline of research, rather than part of a disjointed process in an inaccessible centre," highlights Lin. "Our aim is to make super-resolution imaging more accessible to researchers across the globe.”
Lin and colleagues reckon the imaging system will accelerate research and development in a number of fields including drug discovery, cancer research and microelectronics production.
Learn more here.
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