SBIR Phase II: Dual-Wavelength Picosecond Fiber Laser Source for Label-Free Microscopy
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to develop a novel research microscope based on coherent Raman scattering (CRS). In contrast to other techniques, CRS is a label-free method that requires excitation with two synchronized laser pulse trains (ultra-short pulse duration) with precisely tunable wavelengths (<1nm). The key innovation of the Phase I proposal was the realization that the difference frequency of the two major gain media used in the telecommunication industry, Erbium and Ytterbium, corresponds to the wavelength range where most CRS imaging is performed. This provided a path to an economical laser source for CRS based on a robust all-fiber implementation of low-cost telecom components. Following successful proof-of-concept in Phase I, the Phase II proposal aims to complete the development of the laser system and integrate it into an easy-to-use and environmentally stable solution for CRS microscopy. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in the area of biological and material science research, and ultimately medical diagnostics. CRS allows microscopic imaging with chemical contrast based on intrinsic spectroscopic properties of the sample. It circumvents the issues associated with fluorescent labeling or dye staining, which can be especially problematic for imaging molecules that are smaller than typical labels or for use in vivo in patients. Wide ranging applications including studying lipid metabolism, trans-dermal drug delivery, biomass conversion to biofuel, and tumor margin delineation during cancer surgery, have been demonstrated. Current laser systems for CRS are expensive, require experienced personnel for operation, and are not robust. This greatly limits access to this exciting new technology and prevents use in medical diagnostics. The proposed integrated CRS microscopy solution aims to overcome these limitations.
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to develop a novel research microscope based on coherent Raman scattering (CRS). In contrast to other techniques, CRS is a label-free method that requires excitation with two synchronized laser pulse trains (ultra-short pulse duration) with precisely tunable wavelengths (<1nm). The key innovation of the Phase I proposal was the realization that the difference frequency of the two major gain media used in the telecommunication industry, Erbium and Ytterbi...
In 2017, Invenio Imaging will be launching an ex vivo embodiment of our high-speed label-free chemical imaging technology, Stimulated Raman scattering Histology (SRH). Raman spectroscopy allows non-destructive characterization of the chemical composition of a sample based on the intrinsic spectroscopic properties of the molecular bonds. Raman imaging is possible by raster scanning the excitation laser through the sample and generating a point-by-point three-dimensional chemical map. While the chemical specificity of traditional Raman spectroscopy is excellent, the signal is extremely weak. This limits spectral analysis to high-concentration species and the acquisition rates in imaging applications to minutes and hours. Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) provides amplification of the weak spontaneous Raman signal by >10,000x enabling high-speed, label-free chemical imaging at speeds up to video-rate (30 frames/s).
We have built prototype handheld SRS systems. The goal of this project would be to fully develop one or more handheld embodiments suitable for clinical use, principally for intraoperative tumor margin delineation.
The handheld device comprises a sophisticated objective lens and relay optics, and a resonant scanning mechanism. Experience in optics, mechanics, electrical systems and basic computer programming is recommended. In addition, knowledge of, and/or interest in, the medical use cases would be beneficial. Assuming technical success, the research follow could also participate in preparation of documentation for submission to the FDA, in presentations to prospective corporate partners and prospective investors..
Invenio is a small company. To be successful, the candidate should be independent and willing to take on unfamiliar tasks.
Small Business Postdoctoral Research Diversity Fellowship Program
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