UK scientists develop revolutionary optical microscope with 4-time magnification power

21 Jun 2017


With nanotechnology developed in the UK it may be possible to completely revolutionise the optical microscope by quadrupling its magnification capabilities.

Unlike electron microscopes or X-ray imaging systems, with the technology, researchers may be able to see tiny objects in colour and at a fraction of the cost of the other microscopy systems.

On the basis of research by the University of Manchester, a UK start-up called LIG Nanowise had enabled microscopes to amplify the wavelength of light using tiny transparent beads or "microspheres".

With the technology, it may be possible to look at living viruses using a microscope for the first time and also at other objects measured in billionths of a metre.

The start-up hoped it would be a "game changer" in areas, including drug discovery, cancer research, and microelectronics.

The equipment currently used by university research laboratories as also by microchip design and fabrication plants was exceptionally expensive, costing up to £1 million to purchase and maintain.

According to the project leader Alex Sheppard, the Nanopsis microscope will allow researchers to "see structures like a virus (75 - 150 nanometres) which you can't detect with a standard optical microscope".

"We have invented a super lens technology which increases the magnification of a regular optical microscope by four times. This allows you to see structures which are 90 nanometres (billionths of a metre) where a regular optical microscope is limited to seeing 200 nanometre structures by limitations in physics, Press Association reported quoting Sheppard.

"This is the most powerful objective lens in the world. What this means is that you can see structures like a virus (75-150 nanometres) which you can't detect with a standard optical microscope and any current objective lenses on the market," Press Association reported.

"Researchers can use our microscopes to validate samples and carry out routine work in their own laboratory without having to waste valuable time booking into an imaging centre,'' Professor Lin Li, chairman of LIG Nanowise, said, adding, "Our aim is to make super-resolution imaging more accessible to researchers across the globe."

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more