Professor Jonathan Knight will lead the University’s research into the development of multiphoton microscopes for real-world clinical applications as part of a project which has just been awarded a £854,000 grant.

Showing images of living tissues up to a very high depth - up to about 1 millimetre - multiphoton microscopes extend the depth at which optical images can be collected within tissue, allowing immediate diagnosis in areas such as the brain, prostate, skin and spine. The research will use the technology to produce two new instruments:

  • a motion-stabilised hand-held multiphoton scanner producing images of external tissue or tissue exposed in surgery
  • a miniature, flexible multiphoton endoscope used inside a fine needle and inserted via channels such as breast ducts or into organs, to provide images situated in or occurring within a cell anywhere inside the body.

Professor Knight said: “We are thrilled to be able to use our leading expertise in speciality fibre optics to develop innovative technologies which could improve the diagnosis and treatment of serious illnesses.”

We will be working with Dr Christopher Dunsby from Imperial College London who will lead the overall project.

This is part of a £12.2 million investment in 15 creative engineering research projects by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to deliver major advances in healthcare.