KAIST spinoff to commercialize holotomography for label-free, 3D, live-cell imaging

A spinoff company from KAIST called Tomocube has been established to commercialize holotomography microscopy.

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IMAGE: Quantitative characterization of SH-SY5Y cells in the presence of MPP+ is made using Tomocube technology. Red, apoptotic cells; Green, dividing cells; Blue, normal cells. (Image credit: Tomocube)

A spinoff company from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST; Daejeon, South Korea) has been established to commercialize holotomography (HT) microscopy developed at KAIST by professor YongKeun (Paul) Park. Called Tomocube (also in Daejeon), the new company sees Park serving as CTO while co-founder Kihyun (Kenny) Hong is CEO. They are joined by chief marketing officer Aubrey Lambert who spent almost 30 years with Carl Zeiss Microscopy in national and international positions.

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Tomocube's optical technology will be of interest to all life scientists, especially those using live cells or thin tissues in their work. HT microscopy is an optical technique analogous to X-ray computed tomography (CT), which exploits laser holography and computed tomography to quantitatively and non-invasively investigate biological cells and thin tissues, simply and rapidly. The technique reconstructs the 3D refractive index (RI) distributions of biological material to resolve highly detailed structural and chemical information, including dry mass, morphology, and dynamics of the cellular membrane.

Unlike traditional optical microscopes that only provide users with a two-dimensional (2D) view of their samples, Tomocube's HT microscopy offers high-resolution 3D images of living cells. However, it does this without the need for labeling or extensive pre-preparation, in stark contrast with expensive atomic force, electron and laser-scanning light microscopes that have been used for detailed 3D studies until now.

According to Lambert, "Tomocube is dedicated to delivering products that can enhance biological and medical research and the eventual treatment of diseases. Our platform enables researchers to capture and measure nanoscale, real-time, dynamic images of individual living cells without the need for sample preparation. It also permits the retrieval of unique cell properties, including cell volume, shapes of sub-cellular organelles, cytoplasmic density, surface area, and deformability. Our hope is that in allowing the easy and rapid 3D observation of biological cells, HT microscopy will help more scientists quantitatively study cell pathophysiology."

SOURCE: Tomocube; http://www.tomocube.com

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