Optical microscopy has been a foundational instrument platform for understanding biological life since the pioneering cell imaging work conducted by Robert Hooke in the 17th century. It has grown from a primary research tool based on standard platform architectures and evolved into a highly specialized piece of equipment. It is ubiquitous across life science research, from DNA-sequencing to super-resolution imaging of proteins inside cells and used by drug developers to explore and understand the function and behavior of biomolecules and edits cells as they screen for new pharmaceutical drugs by imaging and analyzing.
Modern innovations in life science and medicine necessitate the need for highly specialized microscopy platforms. Therefore, it is inevitable to create new design formats that fit specific applications. These new formats include wide field-of-view (FOV), multi-color fluorescence imaging, High-speed single-molecule tracking via scanning optics, and fiber-optic probe-based miniature microscopes that fill a volume at centimeter scales.
At Gray Optics, our deep expertise in microscopy and experience with design engineering have prepared us to understand and lead in creating these new design formats the market demands. Additionally, for any microscopy application, it is essential to correctly design the optical and mechanical architecture of the imaging path, from the light source to the detection channel, at the concept stage of the new product development process. Our approach to product development allows for several design reviews and manufacturing considerations early in the design process, ensuring we can meet these standards. In addition, our ability to partner with our customers and offer rapid product engineering support helps to condense product development timelines, and allow our customers to accelerate their product commercialization, knowing the microscope was designed right the first time.
Optical Microscope Platforms Gray Optics Supports
- White light reflected, transmission, and phase contrast
- Single and multi-color fluorescence; multi-photon fluorescence
- Scanning laser and confocal microscopy
- Super-resolution microscopy
- Coherent Raman scattering and stimulated Raman scattering
Our Capabilities for Microscopy
Our Product Engineering experience in microscopy encompasses optical and mechanical design, from the light source to the detector, including all beam delivery, imaging optics, scanning systems along the optical path, and active motion control such as x,y,z positioning stages. This experience allows our team to partner with you and support the complete design of the instrument.
We excel in the design of illumination optics, microscope objectives, and tube lens combinations, as well as designing and selecting mirrors, lenses, and optical filters that meet our customers’ specific needs for high-resolution, high signal-to-noise imaging. Our team knows how essential material costs are. Therefore, we strive to design off-the-shelf optics wherever possible to ensure your budget goals are met without sacrificing imaging performance.
- Optics expertise. Our engineers have significant experience designing complex brightfield and fluorescence microscope systems, including optical design, mechanical design, and all tolerancing and analysis to ensure the 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. 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. Our proven new product development process works for you by mapping each stage in detail to ensure we meet all key milestones together and on time, from instrument feasibility to manufacturing ramp-up.
- Competitive advantage. With our domain-level application expertise, you can trust our team to engage collaboratively, listen to your needs, and develop a program plan that meets your goals.
- Agility and scalability. With a collaborative partnership approach to product development, our team works with you at every stage of the new product development process, from concept to production.
Work We’ve Done
- Project: Multi-channel laser scanning microscope
- The Problem: The design of the microscope had to provide users with high-quality imaging of individual cells requiting high-performance precision optics and meet strict goals for cost control
- The Solution: Gray Optics’ engineers created an optical design of the imaging pathway using a combination of available off-the-shelf (OTS) optical components and custom optimized lenses to meet the imaging specifications and customer’s requirements.
- The Outcome: We transferred the optical design to SolidWorks for mechanical integration and incorporated the complete optomechanical design into the microscope platform. As a result of this work, Gray Optics has become a trusted partner and has supported additional optical lens design projects.
“We hired Gray Optics for developing core components of our next-generation laser scanning microscopes. The work was carried out within the given timeframe and below budget, resulting in a highly advanced design exceeding the original expectations.”
– CEO, European Microscopy Company
Partner With an Industry-Leading Optics Specialist
We are proud to partner with global OEM instrument companies and start-up companies developing innovative new microscopy tools and proud to work together in our joint mission to improve and save lives through discoveries in life science bioresearch. To learn more about How We Work or if you’d like to discuss your next project and learn where our expertise in product development can help, please contact us today.