Travel Inside 3D Cells in Full Color on Your Laptop
(Nanowerk News) Nanolive SA announces the release of an off-line version of STEVE. “Starting from today, scientists, Medical Doctors and students all around the world will be enabled to travel inside 3D cells in full color by simply downloading STEVE on their laptop” declares Dr. Yann Cotte, CEO and co-founder of Nanolive SA.
Nanolive SA is a Swiss start-up company, based at Innovation Park in Lausanne, which is developing a revolutionary microscope (and a revolutionary software) able to image and digitally stain living cells in 3D without any sample preparation and in real-time. The company, which has already received more than 45 pre-orders (with partial up-front payments), is planning the market entry for this summer.
The value measured by the 3D Cell Explorer is not fluorescence intensity of an exogenous molecule like with most optical microscopes. In contrast, Nanolive’s technology detects the physical refractive index of the different cell parts with resolution far beyond the diffraction limit. As the Nanolive’s microscope, the 3D Cell Explorer, can be handled with without special training, the company has developed unique software called STEVE.
To mark and label certain parts of the measured cells in 3D, the software allows the user to “virtual brush” and digitally “paint” the part of a cell based on their physical properties (called refractive index). STEVE will automatically define all regions with same refractive index characteristics (different organelles have different optical properties) and digitally stain them with the same color. This process is quantitative and can be applied for a limitless amount of colors. Changes to digital stains are shown in real time in both 2D and 3D views. Stains panels can be constantly modified by the user, saved and reused for other cells of the same line. (click on image to enlarge)
The Nobel Prize 2014 for chemistry was awarded to S. Hell, E. Betzig, and W. Moerner, who did not believe in the presumed limitations of light and made revolutionary discoveries in the field of fluorescence microscopy.
Dr. Yann Cotte, CEO and founder of Nanolive, shared with them the same skepticism and developed a proprietary and completely innovative technology, which overcomes the inherent limitations of light, and pushes it far beyond the physical limits previously thought possible. Together with his team, he transformed this technology into a commercial product: the 3D Cell Explorer. Just like a MRI for human bodies, Nanolive’s 3D Cell Explorer makes a complete tomography of the living cell and – as distinct from Hell, Betzig and Moerner’s technology – it does this instantly, in 3D and without any stain or sample preparation. As a result, the user has the possibility to measure authentic cells’ physiological activity, and, with the help of STEVE, she/he can discover its interior components, such as nucleus and organelles, on any screen and in a limitless amount of colors. It takes just seconds to get up and running with the 3D Cell Explorer: the user only needs to switch on the microscope, position the sample and initiate the analysis. The microscope instantly self-adjusts and, instantly, a full 3D image of the cell is displayed on the computer screen.
Nanolive’s technology was published in Nature Photonics in 2013 ("Marker-free phase nanoscopy"), and has the potential to enable completely new fields of research, and the development of much safer and smarter pharmaceutical products.