Partnership Resource Projects

Development of ultrafast lasers in biomedical multiphoton applications – Chromacity and University of Glasgow

This project will investigate the feasibility of using low cost Chromacity Spark laser systems as a new source for 2-photon microscopy. It will identify new design criteria to further optimize performance and quantify the size and nature of such improvements from a user perspective.

The target market, for lasers as a key component of the 2-photon microscopy system which could be addressed by the Spark laser, is estimated to be circa £200M annually. A positive project outcome will enable the results from the evaluation to be used to further develop the laser technology and to actively promote its use amongst academia and medical researchers, where the Cardiovascular Physiology Research Group at the University of Glasgow, led by Professor Godfrey Smith has a world-leading reputation.

The particularly attractive aspect, if shown to be suitable in terms of performance, of the Spark laser is its additional competitive advantages to support market entry. It has a significantly lower cost, operates at longer wavelength and has a much smaller footprint which is a key consideration in most laboratories. The key measures will be user based, i.e. will the Spark laser system produce better images, is it easier to use, is it faster and more efficient, does it have a lower cost of ownership. The design criteria however will be technical in nature, e.g. is it powerful enough, is the pulse duration short enough.

This work aligns with the source technology development (and widening of applications) mission of QuantIC.


About Chromacity

Chromacity is a spin out company from the Ultrafast Optics Group at Heriot-Watt University; following success in a national competition designed to tease technology out of the university environment into a commercial success. Its team has a range of skills including: solid-state laser physics, fibre laser development, optical parametric oscillators, spectroscopic and stand-off detection methods, microscope setups, software development and image capture. Chromacity’s modern manufacturing processes allow it to deliver highly efficient, compact and reliable ultrashort pulse laser products. For more information visit