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Low-cost, high-throughput quantitative phase microscopy


High-content screening is rapidly gaining traction across the biological sciences as a means to acquire more detailed data and test more hypotheses in an unprecedentedly rapid and systematic manner. However, a key issue identified by its users is that the instrumentation costs are too high, with systems typically costing from €150.000-800.000. This limits ownership of the instruments to well-funded research labs and, in doing so, excludes a significant portion of the multi- billion USD potential market. This project aims to target this unserved lower end of the market with a competitive high-content screening platform costing just €10.000.

To achieve this, we’ll employ a novel quantitative phase imaging method originally developed for x-ray imaging as part of an ERC Starting Grant. The method allows us to make microscopes much simpler and less expensive without sacrificing image quality. So far, we’ve successfully demonstrated that our new imaging approach is fast, robust and can be readily utilized in such a low-cost screening system. Moreover, our IP is novel, protectable and in the process of being patented. This project will take the next steps towards commercialization by developing our prototype into a minimum viable product, and by carrying out extensive research into the market and customer base to determine the optimum price point, develop a field-tested sales pipeline and revenue model, and create a robust business plan for the eventual spinout company.

Our decision to pursue the market for low-cost devices carries significant risk in that it necessitates high market penetration to achieve sufficient sales volume. However, should we successfully mitigate this risk (e.g. via focused development of the sales strategy), our endeavor will eliminate the main entry barrier to high-throughput life science research, empower a new demographic of users with cutting-edge research tools, and address the growing issue of inequality in research and healthcare.


Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Anker Engelunds Vej 101
2800 Kongens Lyngby

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Danmark Hovedstaden Københavns omegn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
No data