The company, Phi Optics, recently launched a system that helps scientists using optical microscopes to get highly accurate images fast.
The new system, CellVista Q1000, is priced at
A big advantage for researchers is they can get images of cells without killing them in the process, said
Otherwise, researchers would have to use dyes or fluorescence to get the contrast needed for viewing cells.
But using the CellVista Q1000, researchers can watch cells continuously over long periods of times and get a better feel for how cancer cells multiply and grow.
"Monitoring them noninvasively is a great feature," Popescu said.
Phi Optics recently delivered a system to ETH Zurich, a university in
Founded in 2009, Phi Optics opened an office in EnterpriseWorks, the UI's business incubator, in 2012. Today, it employs two and expects to add three more in research and development to its staff later this year.
"We plan to have 20 units sold in 2014 and 50 units sold next year," Popescu said. "That might be a little aggressive. We'll see."
This summer, the company plans to prepare for market a fully automatic version of its system _ a step-up from the "more hands-on," manual interface available now, he said.
Popescu, 42, was born in
He got his doctorate in 2002 and did postdoctoral work in spectroscopy at the
Phi Optics' 38-year-old chief operating officer,
Popescu said he decided to start the company after the
The technology used in the CellVista Q1000 system is "quantitative phase imaging," in which two different beams of light are used, and the phase difference between the beams is quantified.
Phi Optics got a
In June, the company got
The CellVista Q1000 system was unveiled at the BIOS 2014 biomedical optics conference earlier this month in
Popescu said the technology has applications not only in the life sciences, but also in clinical diagnosis and materials testing.
He said he believes the technology can have a big impact on research into prostate and breast cancer, for example.
The technology can also be used to detect nanoscale defects in semiconductor wafers, he added.
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