EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R004854/1
Title: M Squared - St Andrews Biophotonics Nexus
Principal Investigator: Dholakia, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
M Squared Lasers Ltd
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of St Andrews
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2017 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 1,434,010
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biophysics Lasers & Optics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 May 2017 Prosperity Partnerships Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Biophotonics describes a combination of biology or medicine and photonics, with photonics being the science and technology of generation, manipulation, and detection of light. Global Industry Analysts (San Jose, CA) forecast biophotonics markets to exceed $99 billion by the year 2018. Specifically, biophotonics methods are projected to outperform traditional diagnostic techniques, in part driven by the worldwide need for new innovations to address challenges in for example, healthcare, neuroscience, cancer biology and disease management. Additionally, there is an increasing space in optical analysis (e.g. spectrometers, analysers) which are required for a suite of applications more broadly in laser applications both in fields such as food, drink authentication and emergent areas using quantum technology. The international growth in photonics investment needs to be mirrored by a similar expansion of corresponding UK strengths at the University-Industry interface, which is at the heart of this EPSRC Prosperity Partnership.

This grant brings together a partnership between EPSRC, The University of St Andrews and M Squared Lasers to address major research challenges that ultimately have business value and will add to quality of life, The innovative advances will include:

1) a new suite of imaging apparatus where we illuminate with a broad sheet of light rather than point by point scanning. This leads to faster image acquisition and lower sample exposure, thus leading to less "light" damage". Such imaging can lead to new insights for studies in neuroscience, diseases of the mind (dementia) and developmental biology. In turn this will shed light on numerous biological processes including the development of disease. Furthermore, the technology will be made high throughput so we can analyse multiple samples very quickly. They is relevant of the the pharmaceutical industry and drug discovery areas

2) We will look at light scattering (Raman) analysis which gives an optical readout of the chemical compassion of a sample. This will be developed in compact forms as well as with paper as medium to hold the sample. Studies will include use for anti-cancer drug monitoring, studies of infection and blood based disorders including sepsis.

3) we will use the ideas based around multiple laser interference - speckle - which is rich in information on the illuminating sources. This will herald step change for new forms of laser analysis of wavelength and even recording multiple wavelengths (spectra) from samples

4) we will look at new types of ultra compact microscopes that will be able to image below the diffraction limits, that is 100nm or smaller. these can be used in future in pathology to look at tissue biopsy (e.g. nephrotic disease) and ultimately displace other more expensive, time consuming approaches such as electron microscopy
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.st-and.ac.uk