Next-Generation Microscope to Study Cellular Origin of Diseases

One of the pulsed lasers that will be used for the biological microscopy project (Source: P. Milano)

A “breakthrough in microscopy and endoscopy” shall soon revolutionize the study of the cellular origin of diseases, advancing the field of precision medicine. This is the goal of Crimson, a transdisciplinary and transnational research project recently funded by European Commission. It will develop the next-generation biophotonics imaging device for biomedical research, combining advanced laser techniques with artificial-intelligence data analysis. This system shall provide three-dimensional quantitative maps of subcellular compartments in living cells and organoids and enable fast tissue classification with unprecedented biomolecular sensitivity. High acquisition speed will allow the observation of intra and inter-cellular dynamic changes by time lapse imaging.

The Crimson project, which started 1 December 2020 lasting 42 months with a budget exceeding 5M€, will also simulate future in-vivo studies and demonstrate the capability to image inside the body, realizing an innovative endoscope and applying it to ex-vivo thick tissue samples. The results have potentially profound societal impacts, improving patients’ quality of life and reducing public healthcare costs.

A multidisciplinary team of organizations with vertical integration of all required skills composes the consortium, coordinated by Politecnico di Milano (Italy). Three research centers: Politecnico di Milano – Italy, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology IPHT – Germany, and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – France), with long-standing expertise in photonics, spectroscopy and nonlinear microscopy, will develop the technology. Three biomedical partners will validate the imaging system on open biological questions related to cancer, as paradigmatic examples of the complexity and heterogeneity of cellular diseases.

Four innovative SMEs. Active Fibre Systems, Germany, Lightcore Technologies, France, Cambridge Raman Imaging, UK, and 3rdPlace, Italy, including a biomedical equipment manufacturer, will commercially exploit the innovation, thus creating a competitive advantage in the European biophotonics-related market for microscopes and R&D tools. (Source: P. Milano)

Link: CRIMSON Project, c/o Prof Dario Polli, PhD, Physics Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy


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