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Europe | European ＆ international partnerships | Photosynthesis | Microscope
Extracting Super-Resolution from Classical Fluorescence Microscopy
SUPER-RESOL is a project that complements PHOTPROT, funded by an ERC Advanced (n° 267333) and is a direct consequence of it. With this "proof of concept" project, Bruno Robert and Rienk Van Grondelle propose to further improve the super-resolution confocal fluorescence microscopy method developed in PHOTPROT in order to patent it and to start contacting industrials.
The beginning of this century has seen the development of optical super-resolution fluorescence microscopic methods, which yield pictures to resolutions of a few tens of nanometers. This breakthrough has transformed the field of cellular biology, but relies on approaches generally demanding in terms of optics, and which can be applied only on limited classes of fluorophores. This project aims at preparing the commercialization of a new, simple, and cheap, way of extracting super-resolution from images obtained with classical confocal fluorescence microscopes. Currently, this approach yields images with a resolution between 80 nm to 50 nm, which can most likely be increased in a near future. This method can thus be used with any type of fluorophore, just by equipping (confocal) microscopes with a high-end X-Y table and a 2D detector. More complex super-resolution fluorescence microscopic techniques have generated more than 7000 citations in the last years, mostly in biology, but also in chemistry and material sciences. The proposed technology, which can i) easily be implemented for a limited cost and ii) requires no more maintenance and alignment than classical confocal microscopy, is expected to be rapidly implemented in a very large number of laboratories, thus generating new knowledge and a vast range of scientific advances. In the frame of this project, which is a direct consequence of the work started in the frame of the PhotProt ERC advanced grant (id n° 267333), we will in parallel i) improve the performances of this technology by modifying its present design, ii) perform the necessary patenting of this technology, iii) start market studies to evaluate its actual commercial potential iv) enter in contact with companies devoted to microscope engineering and development, and with detector manufacturers, to raise their interest, and envision under which form this new technology can be commercialized, how to conceive the corresponding commercial prototype.
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ABOUT ERC PROOF OF CONCEPT GRANTS (POC)
ERC Proof of Concept Grants are additional funding, exclusively reserved for researchers who have already received an ERC Grant, allowing them to demonstrate the innovative potential of ideas resulting from their ERC-funded exploratory research projects.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.