STTR Phase I: Compact Aberration Compensated Focus and Scan Control for Biomedical Sensors

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Bridger Photonics, INC
112 E. Lincoln, Bozeman, MT, 59715
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Randy Reibel
(406) 920-1339
Business Contact:
Randy Reibel
(406) 920-1339
Research Institution:
Montana State University
Rebecca Mahurin
304 Montana Hall
Bozeman, MT, 59717 2470
(406) 994-4152
Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project will demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of an innovative aberration compensated focus control device for a revolutionary improvement in medical imaging. Currently, a variety of medical conditions are diagnosed and treated through in vitro imaging of suspicious tissues, requiring invasive, time-consuming biopsies. Several in vivo medical imaging technologies have been developed and shown to be efficacious for disease diagnosis and treatment (confocal, OCT, etc.). These commercial systems, however, remain too large for imaging of most native biological systems. This is due to the size of the optical assemblies, the manner in which they are raster scanned to create images, and inherent optical aberrations induced during scanning. This project will solve these problems by creating a compact, miniaturized aberration free focus control/scanning device by combining two critical innovations: extremely small, low cost, large stroke, micro-electro-mechanical deformable mirrors for focus control and compensation of spherical aberration and a miniaturized wavefront sensor to detect and control aberrations induced by the deformable mirror. After providing critical proof-of-concept demonstrations, the team will create a prototype device design and determine its technical feasibility based upon its expected performance and projected size, weight and power consumption. The potential commercial payoff for this miniaturized aberration compensated focus control/raster scanning device is very large. Applications encompass not only biomedical imaging but extend to other markets including digital cameras and cell phone cameras. Conservative market estimates suggest that within the next three years, sales of this device could provide gross annual revenues greater than $27M. The team will consult with industry experts, engage potential customers for the medical imaging market, and identify market insertion points for the device. The team will also contact major cell phone and digital camera manufacturers. Based upon the response from these potential customers, the examination of the competitive landscape, and the projected time to market, the team will determine the device's commercial feasibility.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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