Research Highlights

POSTECH-Opticho Research Team Wins Best Microscopy at the 2020 Microscopy Today Innovation Awards

2020-08-21 163

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A technology developed jointly by POSTECH and Opticho led by Professor Chulhong Kim was selected as one of the top 10 microscope technologies of 2020 by the U.S. journal Microscopy Today.

The joint research team from POSTECH and Opticho won the best microscopy award at the 2020 Microscopy Today Innovation Awards competition with label-free super-resolution localization photoacoustic microscopy. Members of the research team include Professor Chulhong Kim of the departments of electrical engineering, Creative IT Engineering and mechanical engineering, Research Professor Jin Young Kim and Jongbeom Kim in the MS/PhD integrated program.

The competition is held to promote excellence in innovative microscope-related products and technologies developed in the previous year, and 10 outstandingly innovative technologies are selected each year. This year, the label-free super-resolution localized optical microscope jointly developed by the research team with Opticho, Inc. was selected as one of the top 10 technologies. This is the second time such award was won in Korea since Tomocube, Inc. in 2018.

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Photoacoustic microscopy is a microscope that provides anatomical, functional and molecular information of animals and humans in vivo. However, the existing photoacoustic microscopy system was difficult to use in nonclinical or clinical trials due to its slow image speed and low resolution.

In this invention, commercial galvanometer scanners – commonly used in other optical microscopes – were used to improve the image speed. In addition, a label-free super-resolution localization method that does not require contrast medium based on high-speed scanning was presented.

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This new technology can scan at speeds 500 times faster than the conventional commercialized photoacoustic microscopes. In addition, by using red blood cells in the body as contrast agents, micro-blood vessels that were not deciphered in conventional photoacoustic microscopes were clearly distinguishable and showed 2.5 times better resolution in the body.

The technology was highly praised for its speed and high resolution and stability, and was recognized for its potential use in various fields such as neurology, oncology and pathology.

Microscopy Today is a journal specializing in microscopes that provides interesting information to microscopists of all fields. It is a magazine owned by Microscopy Society of America and published by Cambridge University Press, and distributed to experts. It covers all microscopic technologies, including optical microscopes, scanning probe microscopes, electron microscopes, ion beam techniques and the development and application of a wide range of microanalysis methods.