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  • EMBL Spin-Out Focused on Light-Sheet Microscopy for Biomedical Sciences

EMBL Spin-Out Focused on Light-Sheet Microscopy for Biomedical Sciences

Oct 23 2015 Read 2399 Times

A microscopy technique is poised to shine new light on biological questions: as sheets of light can scan everything from developing embryos to single cells or functioning brains, a technique called light-sheet microscopy is gaining traction. It enables scientists to observe living cells in three dimensions, for extended periods of time. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and its technology transfer arm EMBLEM Technology Transfer (EMBLEM) based in Heidelberg, Germany, has launched start-up Luxendo, to bring this microscope technology to users across the globe. The new company has been funded by the EMBL Technology Fund II (ETF II), in Heidelberg and Life Science Partners (LSP), in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

“Light-sheet microscopy has already allowed us to see things we couldn’t dream of before, such as imaging the entire embryonic development of the fruit fly with subcellular resolution,” said Lars Hufnagel, who is applying light sheet microscopy to further his studies on tissue development at EMBL. “In a company setting the technology can be pushed even further and made available to many more people than we could have catered to as research groups” added Jan Ellenberg, who has teamed up with Lars to use the technology for studying early mammalian development.

Luxendo, which will initially be hosted on the EMBL campus, aims to serve the research community worldwide and will focus exclusively on developing and commercialising light-sheet microscopy for biomedical research.

“Being incubated at EMBL is a win-win situation,” said Luxendo CEO Christoph Antz. “It means scientists have access to these new technologies as we develop them and at the same time we can test and improve the microscopes with our intended users right from the outset.” 

“EMBL’s strong patent portfolio in the field of light-sheet microscopy has been built up over many years and puts Luxendo on a solid footing for competitive development in this field,” commented Gábor Lamm, Managing Director for EMBLEM.

The company’s MuVi-SPIM microscopes – initially developed by Hufnagel at EMBL – are already available on the market, with other devices to follow soon.

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