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High-resolution reflective microscope

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43EB033723-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43EB033723
Amount: $259,234.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIBIB
Solicitation Number: PA21-259
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-07-31
Small Business Information
Tucson, AZ 85750-6064
United States
DUNS: 080295846
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (949) 824-7632
Business Contact
Phone: (520) 906-8788
Research Institution

The goal of this SBIR project is to develop and commercialize a fundamentally new type of all-reflective
microscope (ARM) without any obscuration for full spectrum applications from ultraviolet (UV) to infrared (IR). In
Phase I stage, Light Research Inc (LRI) will demonstrate ARM by designing, prototyping, and characterizing a
high numerical aperture (NA) reflective objective and tubing lens.
Current refractive microscope has a number of limitations due to the material dispersion and absorption:
chromatic aberrations, throughput, group delay dispersion (GDD), and narrow working spectral range. While
successfully addressing the limitations on chromatic aberration and group delay dispersion, the traditional
solution - on-axis reflective objective - still has some other major issues due to the central obscuration, preventing
it from being widely adopted in biological research: low throughput, low contrast, and low image quality.
To address all limitations in the current state-of-the-art refractive and reflective microscope, a fundamentally new
and true ARM without obscuration will be developed. The key innovation of this ARM is the off-axis configuration
with freeform surfaces. Off-axis, non-obscuration objective with freeform surfaces will address all issues related
to traditional reflective objective, and has the following unique key properties: high image contrast, high image
quality, high light efficiency, high throughput, zero chromatic aberration, and low GDD. LRI will license the snap-
on assembling technology from University of Arizona (UA) to develop and commercialize the alignment-free off-
axis, non-obscuration reflective objective.
The goal of the Phase I project will be achieved through two aims: (1) design ARM, and (2) prototype and
characterize ARM. With the gained knowledge and successful demonstration of ARM in Phase I project, in Phase
II LRI will develop and commercialize a series of reflective objectives with different NAs and tube lenses with
different focal lengths.
With the unique capability of high-performance imaging from UV to IR without any obscuration, the true ARM will
not only simplify the configurations of the current multimodal and broadband imaging systems, but also enable
investigators to advance the biological and biomedical research through acquiring new multimodal and
broadband data with higher throughput and speed in full spectrum, and developing new imaging techniques not
possible with current microscope platform.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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