LighTopTech Grant

Institute Researchers Win Grant for Microscope Inspired by Whale Eyes

September 29, 2015

An Institute of Optics research group led by Jannick Rolland (left) in partnership with Cristina Canavesi (right), president of LighTopTech, won a Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation.  The Institute and LighTopTech are developing a biomimetic microscope inspired by nature, specifically learning from whales' refocusing eyes.  The microscope uses infrared light to image tissues without radiation or cutting.  The first version of the device will be used to measure contact lenses for quality control.

Photo of Jannick Rolland

SBIR Phase II grants aim to fund small businesses in initiatives that will lead to "societal and economic benefits."  In addition to medical benefits, the researchers hope that the new technology will lead to job creation.

Image of Cristina Canavesi

Canavesi, president of LighTopTech, received a PhD from the Institute of Optics in 2014 and an MBA from the Simon School of Business in 2015.  Rolland, CTO of LighTopTech, is also the Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering at the Institute of Optics.