Cambridge Raman Imaging is part of EUR5m project to develop groundbreaking medical imaging technology


CRIMSON explained by its participants

Portfolio company Cambridge Raman Imaging Limited (the “Company”) is part of CRIMSON, a €5 million pan-European project to develop bio-photonic cell and tissue imaging technology to understand in greater depth the cellular origins of diseases. A full text of the CRIMSON release is below. More information can be found here.

The technology combines advanced laser techniques and artificial intelligence to show how diseases unfold in cells and tissue at a molecular level in near real time. Initial applications include a microscope aimed at biomedical researchers, with initial validation work focused on cancer.

Over the next three-and-a-half years, CRIMSON aims to develop devices that are faster and more accurate than existing technologies to provide highly-detailed digital images of cells and tissue. The speed of the technology will allow researchers to use time-lapse imaging to observe how cells change when affected by disease without the presence of a dye or other chemicals.

Cambridge Raman Imaging is one of a 10-strong consortium involved in the project. The project is being led by its partner, the Politecnico di Milano, which has recognised the Company’s Italian subsidiary Cambridge Raman Imaging s.r.l. as an official spin out. The Company’s budget in the project amounts to €468,312 and its role will be to commercialise the technology for use in a microscope. Frontier IP owns a 25.8 per cent equity stake in Cambridge Raman Imaging.

In July 2020, Frontier IP announced the Company had raised £250,000 from private investors, valuing it at £1.5 million. The investment is supporting development of its graphene-based ultrafast laser technology for use in medical devices.

CRIMSON is looking to develop technology that could transform how biomedical researchers investigate the cellular origins of diseases, including cancer. Cambridge Raman Imaging’s involvement in this prestigious project is strong validation of its expertise.

Frontier IP Chief Executive Officer Neil Crabb
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CRIMSON statement begins:

European consortium to build next-generation microscope
promising to revolutionize the study of the cellular origin of diseases.

A breakthrough in microscopy and endoscopy will soon revolutionize the study of the cellular origin of diseases, advancing the field of precision medicine. This is the goal of CRIMSON, a trans-disciplinary and trans-national research project recently funded by European Commission. It will develop the next-generation bio-photonics imaging device for biomedical research, combining advanced laser techniques with artificial-intelligence data analysis. This groundbreaking microscope will provide three-dimensional quantitative maps of sub-cellular compartments in living cells and organoids and enable fast tissue classification with unprecedented biomolecular sensitivity. High acquisition speed will allow the observation of intra and inter-cellular dynamic changes by time-lapse imaging.

The CRIMSON project, starting 1 December 2020, lasting 42 months and with a budget exceeding 5M€, will also simulate future in-vivo studies and demonstrate the capability to image inside the body, realizing an innovative endoscope and applying it to ex-vivo thick tissue samples. The results have potentially profound societal impacts, improving patients’ quality of life and reducing public healthcare costs.

A multidisciplinary team of world-leading organizations with vertical integration of all required skills composes the consortium, coordinated by Politecnico di Milano (Italy). Three research centers (Politecnico di Milano – Italy, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology e.V – Germany and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – France), with long-standing expertise in photonics, spectroscopy and nonlinear microscopy, will develop the technology. Three biomedical partners (Istituto Nazionale Tumori – Italy, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale – France and Jena University Hospital – Germany) will validate the imaging system on open biological questions related to cancer, as typical examples of the complexity and heterogeneity of cellular diseases.

Four innovative SMEs (Active Fibre Systems GmbH – Germany, Lightcore Technologies – France, Cambridge Raman Imaging Limited – UK and 3rdPlace S.r.l. – Italy), including a biomedical equipment manufacturer, will commercially exploit the innovation, thus creating a competitive advantage in the European biophotonics-related market for microscopes and R&D tools.

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