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Lafayette, CO, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 982.10K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Nonlinear optical microscopy techniques and particularly multiphoton fluorescence microscopy have become popular tools for visualizing the three dimensional cellular architecture residing hundreds of microns and up to one millimeter deep in living organisms This is particularly valuable in neurobiology where multiphoton techniques have become widely used for mapping monitoring and manipulating neural networks in the mouse cortex and other model organisms In living neural networks and in many other applications fast imaging speed is required to temporally resolve dynamic processes reduce motion artifacts and limit the stress to the organism being studied In this Phase II proposal we will build upon techniques developed in Phase I to produce a andquot bolt onandquot microscope module that greatly increases the imaging speed while reducing disruption to the specimen and that can be easily integrated with existing multiphoton microscope systems The module will achieve these goals through the creative use of high performance spatial light modulators and fully integrated software resulting in a user friendly system capable of being set up and used by non expert microscopists The use of versatile spatial light modulator technology also enables further expansion of imaging capabilities and modalities through future software updates PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Multiphoton microscopy is a widely used tool for three dimensional imaging throughout biology and has found particularly widespread use in the exploration and mapping of the brain Current applications particularly in neuroscience require increased imaging speed and a means of fast volumetric imaging that does not disturb the sample The proposed research will develop a novel turnkey andquot bolt onandquot optical module capable of vastly increasing imaging speed deep in scattering tissues without any mechanical movements near the specimen thus greatly enhancing the performance of existing multiphoton microscopes and directly addressing one of the greatest needs of the microscopy community


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 998.89K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The primary proposed objective is to realize a broadband high speed spatial light modulator SLM for microscopy applications Current microscopy techniques frequently employ spatial light modulators to manipulate the phase and amplitude of light illuminating a sample or and or transmitted by a sample The phase and amplitude of light in the microscope illumination and or imaging paths are engineered in application specific ways to improve resolution acquire quantitative data in addition to observational data and increase the rate of information throughput Current spatial light modulators are wavelength dependent and relatively slow for certain applications such as imaging neural activity Therefore microscopy methods employing this approach are restricted to collecting data at one wavelength and limited in the dynamic processes they can observe To overcome these limitations Boulder Nonlinear Systems proposes to capitalize in Phase II on the successful Phase I investigation of alternative phase modulation methods in a liquid crystal spatial light modulator The geometric phase modulation methods studied in Phase I are wavelength independent so modulation of the geometric phase by a SLM allows lateral x y phase modulation of the wave front over an extended wavelength range Implementation of this approach is currently limited by the low voltage of the backplanes on which the modulators are built The proposed Phase II effort will develop a high voltage backplane with which to implement a SLM based on geometric phase modulation Moreover the high voltage backplane will result in a minimum x increase in spatial light modulator speed over current technology with a possible path to x speed improvement The potential benefits of a high speed broadband spatial light modulator to the field of microscopy include expanded capability and increased commercial accessibility of current microscopy methods using spatial light modulators as well as new avenues for innovative applied microscopy research PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Wave front engineering is a multi disciplinary microscope system design approach often implemented with an x y variable light modulator which is changing the fundamental limits of optical imaging Realization of high speed kHz modulation across a broad range of wavelengths within the visible range may allow more efficient higher precision observation of dynamic biological and chemical processes Of particular interest is the potential application of the proposed technology to high speed D imagery for mapping neural pathways in the brain


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.88K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:Non-mechanical beam steering technology for synthetic aperture LADAR (SAL) is proposed. To enable this low size weight and power (SWaP) subsystem, wide angle non-mechanical beam steering (NMBS) will be implemented using polarization grating technology. The technology will be evaluated for compatibility with a beam control system for SAL. For Phase I Boulder Nonlinear Systems (BNS) and our teaming partners, Exciting Technology and Beyond Photonics, propose to build wide angle beam steering components and measure their effect on the phase of a modulated laser. We will also investigate the feasibility of incorporating one of three different fine steering approaches based on optical phased array technology into the beam control subsystem. Wavelength dispersion, laser waveforms and image reconstruction algorithms will also be investigated. Finally we will design a prototype beam control system to be implemented in Phase II. BENEFIT:The effort proposed here represents an improvement to synthetic aperture LADAR (SAL) sensor systems by enabling their use in size weight and power (SWaP) constrained tactical pods. Several DoD platforms could benefit from a low SWaP beam steering approach. In addition commercial 3D mapping would benefit.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.28K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: A SWIR 3D imaging LADAR architecture is proposed in which it shares the aperture with a FLIR sensor. To enable this combined passive and active sensor system, wide angle non-mechanical beam steering (NMBS) will be implemented at the exit window/entrance pupil of the system. Due to the large steering angles the SWIR LADAR is not constrained to the FOV of the passive MWIR sensor, freeing it from the constraints of the direction in which the FLIR is pointing. Boulder Nonlinear Systems (BNS) and our teaming partners, ImagineOptix, and Exciting Technology, will build a prototype shared aperture 3D SWIR LADAR/FLIR system. Using polarization grating technology, and MWIR transparent liquid crystal switches, the 3D SWIR LADAR light will be steered without diffracting the MWIR light that is being collected by the FLIR. With this approach we expect to enhance the capabilities of the sensor system. BENEFIT: The effort proposed here represents an improvement to 3D LADAR imaging and passive and active IR sensors. Several DoD platforms could benefit from the shared aperture approach. In addition commercial 3D mapping would benefit from increased field of view and multispectral capability.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.27M | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Improving our understanding of the functional circuitry of the brain has important and manifold implications for our understanding of mental health as well as fields like consciousness and computing In the last decade optical techniques have arisen that allow both recording and control of targeted neurons for brain mapping and many of the best of these techniques employ multiphoton microscopes with spatial light modulator SLM technology and complex algorithms to shape the light and analyze increasingly large neural microcircuits in three dimensions D SLMs can arbitrarily shape the wavefront of light to create multiple independently targeted beams in D to control groups of neurons with the maximum number of studied neurons being limited primarily by the laser power on the SLM Because the SLM can mimic nearly any optical element these versatile tools also provide additional capabilities when incorporated into microscopes such as adaptive aberration correction and remote focusing Despite the potential for SLMs to revolutionize the microscopes used in neuroscience their adoption remains limited by the difficulty in incorporating the SLM into the expensive multiphoton microscope platforms used by investigators and by the complexity of integrating SLM control into the microscopy software In this Phase II effort Boulder Nonlinear Systems BNS and Dr Darcy Peterka and the Yuste laboratory at Columbia University will address this barrier by developing a user friendly bolt on SLM module for existing multiphoton microscopes along with full software integration of the SLM into both open source and commercial microscopy software This work will leverage knowledge gained during the Phase I development of the Pocketscope a portable and low cost SLM microscope for simple in vitro neuroscience studies and integrate close feedback from a range of industry partners and leaders in neuroscience As part of this work BNS will also improve the speed power handling and reliability of the SLMs and utilize their strategic commercial partner Meadowlark Optics to bring down SLM cost and improve software integration Successful completion of this project will result in the new SLM based microscope module platform indpendent software integration and improved SLM joining the Phase I Pocketscope to provide a suite of powerful tools each with their own impact and commercial niche capable of transforming the optical exploration of neural networks PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Improving our understanding of the functional circuitry of the brain has important and manifold implications for our understanding of mental health as well as fields like consciousness and computing In the last decade optical techniques have arisen that allow both recording and control of targeted neurons for brain mapping and many of the best of these techniques employ multiphoton microscopes with spatial light modulator SLM technology and complex algorithms to shape the light and analyze increasingly large neural microcircuits in three dimensions This project seeks to improve the adoption and dissemination of this powerful technique through close collaborations with industry and the neuroscience community to develop a user friendly add on SLM module and software for existing multiphoton microscopes

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