The group activities are divided into a) development of photonic chip-based super-resolution optical microscopy and chip-based label-free microscopy (Raman, Phase) and b) its application for studying nanoscale biological systems and process.


Photonic chips are based on high-refractive index contrast material. Photonic chips simultaneously act both as the substrate for holding biological specimens and as the illumination source for imaging those specimens. Standard microscopes can be retrofitted with these photonic chips, thus converting them into super-resolution microscopes. The photonic chip-based platform provides greater advantages than present day microscopes, including a compact size, lower costs, high imaging speed, a large field of view, and easy multicolour imaging, among others. A multitude of projects are underway, including utilizing fluorescence-based and label-free imaging methods (Raman spectroscopy, quantitative phase microscopy), and cover both fundamental studies to commercialization approaches.


In addition to developing the chips, we work closely with collaborators in a range of biological disciplines, including microbiology, vascular biology, medicine, and fisheries, among others. In our work, we use both commercial imaging systems (OMX and DeltaVision Elite) and our prototype photonic chips, thus extending our research beyond traditional imaging limits. This dual approach to nanoscale imaging has yielded insights on a variety of biological topics, including subcellular structure, signalling pathways, host-pathogen interactions, and clinical applications.


The activity is funded by several EU and RCN funded projects such as ERC Starting Grant, MSCA-ITN, MSCA-ITN and FORNY.


Project website

(Balpreet Ahluwalia, Olav Gaute Hellesø)