HORIBA

A game-changing technology creating a user-friendly camera that delivers video rate fluorescence imaging of molecular processes for medical research, disease diagnostics, screening and tissue monitoring.

About the company

HORIBA desk

Glasgow-based HORIBA Jobin Yvon IBH Ltd manufactures software and instrumentation for time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC). Founded in 1977 as a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, IBH pioneers commercial TCSPC fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy systems. IBH was acquired by HORIBA in 2003; they now lead the market in fluorescence spectroscopy.

FLIMERA

TCSPC detects the arrival times of individual photons in response to a pulse of light, an important photon time-of-flight measurement. It can be used for range finding, and to determine how long molecules store optical energy before radiating it as fluorescence. This is known as the fluorescence lifetime and is dependent on both the molecule and its nanoscale environment. Because of this it can be used to probe molecular interactions that are significant for many biological sciences (e.g. cell and protein interactions) and material sciences (e.g. solar cells).

HORIBA has made it possible to combine the single photon detection that is based on single photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) with TCSPC’s ability to time photon arrival, in a single camera pixel. Recent advances in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology have allowed a pixel array as small as 192 x 128, where each pixel has an individual detector and its own TCSPC timing circuitry. This architecture allows the camera to produce a large amount of data, which requires processing to provide an image. HORIBA developed bespoke firmware and software that allow the display and recording of video rate (30 fps) images.

HORIBA has packaged the array chip with its commercial software and lasers to produce the FLIMERA wide-field fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) camera. Parallel fluorescence data acquisition makes the camera over an order of magnitude faster than conventional scanning microscopes using FLIM. The result enables real-time video rate FLIM for the study of mobile samples, such as live cells and fluid biopsy for cancer screening.

Further information

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