The Swept Field Confocal Microscope
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Millions of people in the USA and throughout the world are affected by neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and brain tumors. Confocal microscopy has considerably enhanced the testing of hypotheses in the basic neurosciences, providing significant insights into the causes of such neurological disorders. However, these systems are currently extremely expensive, putting them out of the reach of most individual scientists; the majority of confocal microscopes are currently to be found only in core facilities. There is also a need for increased optical resolution and the ability to perform 3-dimensional reconstructions of samples using a confocal microscope. If a system could be brought to market at a cost of less than $50,000, confocal microscopy would become available to every individual scientist using fluorescence microscopy, thus improving research abilities and potentially alleviating the financial and medical burdens caused by neurological disorders.
The overall goal of this project is to develop a new type of confocal microscope based on an innovative concept - the swept-field confocal design (SFC). The SFC is a revolutionary confocal concept. This hybrid-instrument uses an array of stationary pinholes for illumination and detection along one axis while using a single galvanometer to sweep the illumination along the other axis (Patent Pending). In Phase I of this project we designed, built prototypes of and evaluated the performance of two variations of the SFC. In Phase II of this project we will move from the drawing board to the laboratory; we will develop, test and refine a high-performance, easy-to-use swept-field confocal microscope at a selling price of under $50,000.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Prairie Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 620677 3030 Laura Lane Suite # 140 Middleton, WI -
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