Heidelberger Innovation Forum: Bwcon Price for the World-Fastest Superresolution Microscopy to Professor Christoph Cremer
Posted October 28 2009
The Best Business Idea has been rewarded with the Bwcon Prize – an initiative of the Region Baden-Württemberg, Germany. This year the prize has been assigned to Professor Christoph Cremer from the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, Heidelberg, for the invention of “Vertico SMI”, the fastest high-resolution light-optical microscope of the world. The prize includes a personal Business-Coaching offered in the framework of the “Coach & Connect” Initiative in order to support a further spread of the idea into the market.

The Vertico-SMI is currently the fastest light microscope for the 3D analysis of complete cells in the nanometer range. The effective optical resolution of this optical nanoscope has reached the vicinity of 10 nm in 2D and 40 nm in 3D and is therefore substantially better than the physical limit of 200 nm predicted by Abbe‘s law 1873. The Vertico-SMI is based on the combination of light optical techniques of localization microscopy (SPDM, Spectral Precision Distance Microscopy) and structured illumination (SMI, Spatially Modulated Illumination). The included IT developments are the basis for faster processing in comparison to other microscopes. It takes 2 minutes (1 colour superresolution) and 3 minutes (2 colour superresolution (2CLM) from the first photo (frame) to the complete final picture.

With this technoloy it is possible to use conventional, well established and inexpensive fluorescent dyes, from the GFP group, subject of a Nobel Prize in 2008, and its dye variants, to the well-known Alexa and fluorescein dyes. Fundamental to this SPDMphymod are blinking phenomena (flashes of fluorescence), induced by reversible bleaches (metastable dark states), where individual molecules of the same spectral emission color can be detected. Using this SPDMPhymod it is possible to detect two different fluorescent molecule types (this technology is referred to as 2CLM, 2 Color Localization Microscopy). Counting individual molecules up to a density of 1000/µm2 – at present, this is possible in an area of up to 5000 µm2.


Download English PDF file

Download German PDF file