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LZH partnership on multimodal microscopy aiming to better detect bacteria

03 Jan 2023

Project PriMe intended to speed classification of biofilms with marker-free, contactless imaging.

Using a multimodal microscope, Laser Center Hannover (LZH), in Germany, and three partners in the joint project PriMe aim to improve detection of bacterial infestation.

The partners will use a technique based on rapid, marker-free, and contactless imaging, which they say “could significantly accelerate the characterization and classification of biofilms”.

Deciphering the composition of biofilms currently takes at least a day – an enormously long period for the clinical setting in which biofilms can be life-threatening.

The PriMe partners now want to combine multiphoton microscopy and metabolic imaging to significantly speed up the process. To this end, they are developing a novel laser beam source with spectral properties specifically adapted to the application.

Determining biofilm

With this laser source, LZH and Becker & Hickl GmbH want to detect metabolic products such as the coenzymes NADH, FAD, and additionally the amino acid tryptophan. The latter is a central component of proteins and peptides.

The combined values should then make it possible to determine which bacteria are present in the biofilm. The project goal is to develop a demonstrator with which clinical material can be examined.

The basis for the demonstrator will be an innovative, multi-modal ultrashort pulse (USP) fiber laser system, which the LZH is developing together with VALO Innovations and TEM Messtechnik.

It will be optimally adapted to the needs of multiphoton microscopy and extended fluorescence lifetime measurement. With the new laser source, the scientists aim to gain fundamentally new insights into bacterial communities and environmental influences.

They also want to lay the foundation for a new diagnostic procedure that could significantly simplify the treatment of bacterial infections.

In the joint project PriMe, the detection and classification of bacterial growth are pursued through multiphoton microscopy and molecular or metabolic imaging. The collaborative partners are TEM Messtechnik, Becker & Hickl, VALO Innovations, and LZHV. The associated partner is APE Angewandte Physik u. Elektronik. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

SPECTROGON ABFirst Light ImagingHÜBNER PhotonicsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationABTechHyperion OpticsLaCroix Precision Optics
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