Deepening Capabilities

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Marcia StamellIn our cover story this month, Katie Heiser and Leslie Kimerling of Double Helix Optics write about a device that integrates depth information with increased resolution. For such work, Double Helix was named a top winner of the first Luminate NY awards. The award comes with a $1 million investment and is sponsored by an accelerator program in Rochester, N.Y., designed to speed innovation and time to market.

The company’s device modifies a microscope so it can extract more data with high-precision 3D information. The method behind it — the double-helix point spread function — already has found research applications in cell biology and neuroscience.

The cover story, “Double-Helix Point Spread Function Delivers Precise Extended-Depth Microscopy,” (read article). It’s one of three this month that discuss technologies that enable tissue imaging at greater depths and with higher precision, opening the way for more complex understandings in the life sciences.

Lensless 3D imaging is the topic of a report by Nick Antipa, Grace Kuo, and Laura Waller of UC Berkeley. The imager produced by Waller’s lab can compute the locations and brightness of a large number of points from a single 2D measurement. It makes it possible to record activity over a large area at sufficiently fast frame rates for imaging neural dynamics. “Lensless Cameras May Offer Detailed Imaging of Neural Circuitry” (read article).

The deep-imaging capability of two-photon laser scanning microscopy is outlined in a third story, from Coherent’s Marco Arrigoni. Coupled with the use of triple-transgenic mice, the technology has yielded some breakthrough results for the research team headed by Friedemann Kiefer at the European Institute for Molecular Imaging. The group seeks to sort out the poorly understood intricacies of the lymphatic system, with the goal of lessening surgical trauma. “Fluorescence Microscopy Unravels Morphogenesis, Function of Lymph System” (read article).

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• Contributing Editor Marie Freebody writes about the progress being made to develop point-of-care devices to diagnose infectious diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Both diseases remain formidable killers worldwide. Portable, noninvasive screening devices promise to save a lot of lives, particularly in low-resource regions where medical testing can be difficult to access or nonexistent. “Point-of-Care Optics Helps Halt the Spread of Infectious Diseases” (read article).

• For our Biopinion this month, Loren Looger of the Janelia Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute outlines the advantages of open-source, sharing-driven technology development. This model has advanced life science, especially neuroscience, by leaps and bounds. There is much more government agencies, universities, and investigators can do, Looger writes, to foster ever-more open mechanisms of innovation and dissemination. “Open-source biophotonics is better for everyone” (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

Published: June 2018
Double Helix OpticsEditorialLuminate Lighting Awardsaccelerator programMicroscopyLasersImagingPoint-of-care

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