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About us

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH evaluates, protects and commercializes inventions of higher education institutions and research facilities. It was founded as a private company and wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Göttingen Public Law Foundation in 2004.

We see our mission in the motivation of scientists to also look at their own research results from the perspective of an economically relevant invention and to report such to the employer as an employee invention.

In the case of promising inventions, we coordinate the application for an intellectual property right with external patent lawyers who are specialised in the relevant field

We subsequently present such inventions worldwide to companies in order to identify partners who are interested in developing the invention into a product and placing the product onto the market

Optical Image Scanning Microscope

The invention describes a simple way of performing Image Scanning Microscopy (ISM) purely optically. It is not necessary to reconstruct the final image from a multitude of individual acquisitions. Instead, the final image is projected directly onto the camera chip. The method is suitable for confocal microscopy as well as for  two photon microscopy.

Challenge

Image Scanning Microscopy was developed during the last years and improves the lateral resolution by a factor of 1.6 in comparison with confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM). The principal of the method is similar to how the improved resolution in structured illumination microscopy is obtained.

Previously, the disadvantage of ISM was that for each scan position of the excitation laser an individual image on the camera chip had to be acquired. Subsequently, the final image was calculated by combining all sub-images. Although with this approach ISM was already capable of reaching a significantly higher resolution than CLSM setups, it was also much slower.

New developments have shown that optical ISM without computer aided reconstruction is possible (Optical Photon Reassignment – OPRA). Unfortunately, OPRA demands quite complex optics and it is difficult to upgrade existing CLSM setups. In addition, excitation and emission light pass through the same optics which makes it difficult to apply the method in  two photon microscopy.

Our Solution

The newly developped, optical ISM method overcomes the above mentioned disadvantages by producing the final image directly on the camera chip. Neither the computer aided reconstruction nor the readout of the camera chip for each scan position are necessary. Consequently, the new method is significantly faster while providing the same benefits in terms of resolution.

The new method is a purely optical realization of the ISM idea. However, in contrast to previous realizations, ISM is performed through increasing the distance between two scan positions on the camera chip by a factor of 2. To obtain the desired result, a second scan mirror can be used. But it is even possible to avoid using this additional scan mirror. The first scan mirror, which is already available anyway can be used instead if the emission light is passed through a 2f-arrangement. The method can thus be applied with a small amount of additional optical components. It is ideally suited to upgrade existing CLSM systems.

Furthermore, it is possible to have separated light pathways for excitation and emission light. Therefore, the optical components in the emission pathway can be adjusted completely to the emission wavelength. The newly developed ISM realization is thus also suitable for two photon microscopy.

Advantages

The resolution improvement by a factor of 1.6 typically gained with ISM is obtained without limiting the versatility of the setup for example in terms of usable fluorophores. In addition, the new ISM realization offers the following advantages:

  •  Optical realization, the final image is created directly on the camera chip. High frame rates can be achieved.

  • Only very few additional optical components are necessary. Existing CLSM setups can be easily upgraded without limiting their normal capabilities.

  • No second scan mirror necessary. Synchronization problems between the scan mirrors are avoided.

  • Separated excitation and emission pathways. Adjustment is simplified, setup is suitable for  two photon microscopy.

Applications

High-resolution fluorescence microscopy. The method can be used in combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy or two photon microscopy. Existing setups can easily be upgraded.

Development Status

Both a 1-photon as well as a 2-photon realization have been constructed and tested and both showed the expected resolution enhancement and were capable of recording images with high frame rates.

Patent Status

DE patent granted: DE102013017468B4
DE divisional patent granted: DE102013022538B3
US patent application: US20160246042A1

Patent holder/applicant: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts

References

ISM basics:
Image Scanning Microscopy
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.198101
Claus B. Müller und Jörg Enderlein
Physical review letters 104.19 (2010): 198101.

Contact

Dr. Cornelia Strauß
Patent Manager Physics & Technology
E-Mail: cstrauss(at)sciencebridge.de
Tel.: +49 (0) 551 30 724 153
Reference: CPA-1678-SUG
www.sciencebridge.de

Tags: Laser physics and optics

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MBM ScienceBridge GmbH supports scientists, evaluates inventions, oversees applications for intellectual property rights and out-licenses patents of universities and research institutions in Göttingen and Lower Saxony.

Our company evaluates, protects and commercializes inventions of higher education institutions and research facilities. It was founded as a private company and wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Göttingen, Public Law Foundation, in 2004.


Office of MBM ScienceBridge GmbH:
The office of the MBM ScienceBridge GmbH resides in the Laser Laboratory on the northern campus of the Georg-August-University Göttingen.

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