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Posted: March 31, 2008
UK Grant Will Fund The Fight Against Cancer
(Nanowerk News) A science company has secured cash support to develop a world-first microscope for use in the fight against diseases such as cancer.
Durham Photonics, developers of advanced imaging software in biomedicine and bioscience, says the £95,000 grant, awarded by One NorthEast, will enable it to recruit a full-time scientific team as well as to begin feasibility studies on imaging systems.
A University of Durham spin-out, Durham Photonics was established in June 2007 and is based in the university’s laboratories and Enterprise Incubator.
Its first product, a terahertz microscope, will be the first of its kind to reach market and is able to help scientists analyse cells to help separate healthy from unhealthy ones.
This will have help scientists in the field of biomedicine, nanomedicine and nanotechnology and assist in the fight against cancer.
The terhaertz microscope does not cause damage when examining cells, unlike the normal X-ray, and therefore has great potential to look at living things.
Dr Amanda McMurray, managing director at Durham Photonics said: “This grant will enable us to further our development through additional research and to recruit new expertise. This is the first microscope of its kind in the world and we expect to be able to bring it to market within a few years.”
Durham Photonics eventually hope to establish a manufacturing facility here in the North East employing up to 30 people.
Dr McMurray added: “Cenamps has supported the company since foundation and we continue to benefit from their input as well as that of other stakeholders. Outside investment remains imperative if we are to continue to excel in such an innovative field.”
Durham Photonics has benefited from Cenamps’ BioNano Regional Research Programme, which funded research in the Photonics Materials Institute that underpinned the terahertz microscope. The programme, run by Cenamps and funded by One NorthEast, aimed to accelerate the development and exploitation of cutting edge ideas.