Partnership Resource Projects

Fresnel Cone Enhanced Super Resolution Microscopy

This project aims to build and demonstrate a low cost super-resolution microscope based on Fresnel Cone Technology. The relevant technology has been developed in a Phase 1 feasibility project through collaboration between Gooch & Housego and the University of Glasgow. This feasibility study showed that Fresnel cones could produce structured polarisation beams, entangled in their polarisation and spatial degree of freedom, in a cost-effective, broadband and efficient manner. The structured polarisation beams can be focused to smaller spot sizes – more than 25% below the diffraction limit. This leads to an increase in resolution for microscopy application which is seen as a significant improvement by biomedical researchers and other microscopy end users. There are additional benefits when used in other applications e.g laser machining.

Optical microscopy is a key tool at the heart of medical research and the biological sciences. During recent years a wide range of new methodologies have been developed – collectively termed super-resolution microscopy – which improve lateral and depth resolutions to some tens of nanometers. This has allowed the discovery and examination of cell structures, proteins and single molecules. Scanning fluorescence microscopy has become the tool of choice in many microscopy applications, as fluorophores can be linked to specific targets of interest, and can be used in conjunction with super-resolution techniques to eliminate the usual “blurring” associated with the traditional ‘diffraction limit’. Additionally, fluorescence super resolution microscopy techniques allow samples to be viewed live or unfixed when desired, which can be a significant advantage over electron microscopy. However, these techniques are typically achieved by post-processing complex data streams at significant computational and financial cost. This project aims to avoid these costs by providing super-resolution microscopy using Fresnel Cone Technology.

Gooch & Housego, a global leader in photonics technology, will be working in collaboration with researchers at the University of Glasgow and the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, as well as Elliot Scientific, a major supplier of opto-mechanic systems to design, build and test a super-resolution microscope system based on this new technology with an end application tackling the current challenges in medical research. Building on this initial system, we will develop a stand-alone super-resolution module which can be retro-fitted on to existing fluorescence microscopes, greatly increasing the market opportunities for the product. Importantly, Fresnel Cone imaging can also be used in concert with current post-processing based super-resolution techniques to further increase resolution e.g. with two-photon and fluorescent microscopy.


About Gooch and Housego

Gooch & Housego is a photonics technology business headquartered in Ilminster Somerset, UK with operations in the USA and Europe. A world leader in its field, the company researches, designs, engineers and manufactures advanced photonic systems, components and instrumentation for applications in the Aerospace & Defense, Industrial, Life Sciences and Scientific Research sectors. World leading design, development and manufacturing expertise is offered across a broad range of complementary technologies. For more information  please visit