Laser scanning confocal mesoscope
There has long been a need for a new type of lens that will permit confocal multi-colour imaging of large and thick specimens such as 6mm-long mouse embryos, with sub-cellular spatial resolution.
A collaboration between researchers at the University of Strathclyde and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has resulted in the production of the Mesolens. The Mesolens - the only microscope of it's kind in the world - brings 3D detail to microscopy combining the confocal principle with novel lens design which bridges the gap between microscopy (high resolution) and macro-photography (wide field of vision).
The lens is capable of displaying 3D high resolution images of cells while simultaneously displaying the whole organism. It offers doctors a vastly improved technology for diagnostics and examination.
Our recent images show that the entire 5mm diameter field can be scanned, with reproducible pixel registration, at a pixel number of 10 to 20 thousand per line. This extraordinary performance is necessary to capture the full resolution of the lens. This compares with the conventional microscope, where 2000 pixels is enough to reach the Nyquist sampling limit because the field coverage is so small. The downside of this is that the file size per frame is approximately 190 Mb and the time to scan one frame about 2 minutes. This is however, perfectly acceptable with fixed material or very slow time-lapse recording of developmental processes. For faster studies, the lens can be used as a conventional camera lens, without the confocal benefit. As such, it is a very fast lens (because of the combination of high N.A. and low image magnification) and can be used for fluorescence imaging even with no other light source than the overhead fluorescent tube lighting of the lab.
- large field of view (6mm) with subcellular resolution (<800nm)
- long working distance lens (3mm) suitable for imaging thick specimens
- compatible with multiple immersion materials (air, water, glycerol, oil)
- high efficiency: fast lens collects light
- compatible with conventional lasers & fluorochromes
Markets & applications
- biomedicine (including phenotypic genetic screening, drug delivery and performance analysis, structural studies in developmental biology)
- biochemistry (including high-throughput screening of biomarkers)
- materials science (including 3D structural analysis of semiconductor materials, minerals)
- forensic analysis (including detailed image capture of biological media)
Licensing & development
We're seeking a commercial development partner to accelerate the development of this opportunity. For further information, please contact the RKES team.