Low-cost, Ultrafast Laser Sources for Biological Imaging

Lead Participant: M-Squared Lasers Limited


The microscope market was 2.7bn in 2011 and is expected to increase to nearly 3.4 billion in 2016. Multi-photon excitation (MPE) microscopy is the imaging workhorse of life science laboratories. An ultrafast laser is at the core of any MPE microscope and the state of the art for this is the Ti:Sapphire laser. While its output properties are highly desirable for MPE, its optical pump lasers are based on a complex, multi-stage wavelength conversion process, making Ti:Sapphire very expensive (£150k) and often impractical. This project will address these shortcomings by developing a low-cost laser for biomedical imaging. This will be achieved by leveraging recent advances in gallium nitride diode lasers emitting at 450nm (originally motivated by multimedia projection applications). Crucially, this laser will be suitable for OEM integration into microscope systems opening up new markets in comparison to status-quo where microscope and laser are discrete systems. The feasibility of this project has already been proven by means of a TSB feasibility study and an EPSRC KTA programme. This project forms an essential final step before commercialisation of the technology.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

M-Squared Lasers Limited, Maryhill Road £347,262 £ 208,357


Fraunhofer UK Research Limited, Glasgow, United Kingdom £127,192 £ 127,192
University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom £18,712 £ 18,712


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