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Re-scanning Confocal Microscopy is a new super-resolution technique developed by Erik Manders (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences) and his team who have been working on innovative microscopy technologies for years. This new technique will improve the resolution of the light microscope by a factor of two. Together with the University of Amsterdam spin-off company, Confocal.nl BV, Manders received an STW Take-off grant to continue investigating the technical and commercial feasibility of the improved Re-scanning Confocal Microscope.

By introducing a new technique, the resolution of the light microscope will be improved by a factor of two.

Re-scanning Confocal Microscopy (RCM) is a technique that produces sharper and clearer microscopic images. With a simple optical trick the resolution is improved by 40% and the sensitivity by 400%. Although these improvements are fantastic, RCM can not compete with commercially available SIM (Structured Illumination Microscopy) systems. But within the group of Dr Erik Manders there are new plans to further improve the RCM technology and possibly better the SIM technology.

History of RCM

The RCM microscope was developed, built and used in cell biology by Giulia De Luca and Ronald Breedijk (Manders group). In February 2016, Erik Manders and Peter Drent established a UvA spin-off company, Confocal.nl BV (www.confocal.nl), to commercialise the new technology. Meanwhile, the first microscopes are sold internationally.

Next step

The resolution of an ordinary light microscope is 240 nanometers (nm). That means an object of 240 nm can is still discernable. In RCM technology, the resolution has become 170 nm and with the improved RCM technology Manders and his group expect to increase the resolution to 130 nm. An improvement therefore of almost a factor of two. The STW take-off grant will be used to examine the technical and commercial feasibility of this plan.