At Gray Optics, we are true to our mission to improve and save lives. In this quest, we provide our valued life science instrument customers with industry-leading optical and mechanical design engineering to help create the next generation of advanced cellular imaging and analysis tools for genomic science.
Advanced Genome Sequencing – Spatial Sequencing
Recent advances in biotechnology and sub-cellular imaging instrumentation have led to discoveries in fundamental life science biology and aided new developments in precision medicine. With the combination of fluorescence-based DNA-sequencing and super-resolution microscopy, it is now possible to image the location of individual biomolecules (e.g., proteins, mRNA) and understand how they behave and interact in the cellular environment with sub-100 nm resolution. This new technology frontier in life science research is known as Spatial Sequencing or Spatial Omics. By adding spatial resolution to the molecular information (gene profiling), this technology platform creates an unparalleled understanding of the relationship between an individual cell’s genomic (transcriptomic) profile, cellular morphology, and interaction with the local environment.
Modern spatial sequencing platforms are, at their core, fluorescence microscopes equipped with laser or LED illumination sources, precision lens assemblies, specialized optical coatings and optical filters, and advanced CMOS imaging detectors. Different instrument configurations provide a variety of imaging options, including, but not limited to:
- Multi-wavelength fluorescence detection
- Diffraction-limited or super-resolution imaging
- Sub-cellular 3D imaging
- Wide field of view (FOV)
- Integration of brightfield imaging
Using a combination of off-the-shelf and custom optics provides optimal imaging performance for spatial sequencing platforms. Knowing what optics to use and where along the beam path requires expert optical, mechanical, and system-level design expertise and product engineering.
Our Capabilities for Spatial Sequencing
With deep expertise in Product Engineering for advanced microscopy instruments, Gray Optics is well-positioned to support the unique needs of OEM instrument companies. Our proven product development approach to instrument design and transfer to production helps our customers achieve their project goals and commercialization plans.
- Optics expertise. Our engineers have significant experience designing complex fluorescence microscope systems, including optical design, mechanical design, and all tolerancing and analysis to ensure the entire optical subsystem is easy to manufacture, from prototype to volume production.
- Benefits for customers. With our application knowledge, you can trust us to design the optical pathway to your specific requirements. In addition, our team is aware of the bigger picture and creates designs using off-the-shelf optics to reduce development time and manage the instrument cost of goods.
- Our process. We map out each stage of the New Product Development Process (NPDP) in detail to secure buy-in and ensure we meet all project milestones on time, from instrument feasibility to manufacturing ramp-up.
- Competitive advantage. With our domain-level engineering and application expertise and commitment, you can trust listen to your needs and partner with you from start to finish and develop a program plan that meets your product commercialization goals.
- Agility and scalability. With a collaborative partnership approach to product development, our team works with you at every stage of the product development process, from concept to production.
Work We’ve Done
- Project: Next-generation DNA Sequencing “Sample-to-Answer” Platform
- The Problem: Our client wanted to select the optimal configuration of a tube lens and microscope objective that would provide high flatness for diffraction-limited imaging over a large field of view (>4.5 mm2). Due to their product development schedule, the client wanted a solution based on off-the-shelf optics.
- The Solution: After conducting a product technology review and performing optical and mechanical analyses, we created a product solution matrix based on commercially available lenses to identify solutions the customer could pick from after considering system design and imaging performance trade-offs.
- The Outcome: The customer selected the optimal OTS product solution from Gray Optics and rapidly purchase and integrate them into several prototype instruments and complete laboratory testing successfully, demonstrating to their investors that the instrument concept would work.
Partner With an Industry-Leading Optics Specialist
We are proud to partner with global OEM instrument and start-up companies developing innovative products that enable breakthroughs in genomic science. To learn more about How We Work or discuss your next project to understand where our expertise in product development can help, contact us today.