CRIMSON project gets underway

New generation microscopes capable of revolutionising the study of the cellular origin of diseases

The European Commission has funded the Politecnico di Milano-coordinated "CRIMSON" (Coherent Raman Imaging for the Molecular Study of the Origin of Disease) project more than €5 million under its Horizon 2020 programme. The project develops new generation microscopy and endoscopy equipment to investigate the cellular origin of diseases and allows important advancements in the precision medicine field.

The project aims to develop a next generation biophotonic imaging device for biomedical research, which combines advanced laser techniques with sophisticated data analysis using artificial intelligence algorithms. This tool provides three-dimensional quantitative maps of subcellular compartments in living cells and organoids and allows fast tissue classification with an unprecedented biomolecular sensitivity. The high acquisition speed allows the creation of real-time imaging of intracellular processes and dynamics between the various tissue cells.

In addition to Politecnico di Milano, the consortium includes other research centres with long-standing experience in photonics, spectroscopy and non-linear microscopy. These include the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology e.V (Germany) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). The imaging system will be validated tackling the current biological issues in the study of cancer with the contribution of the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (Italy), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (France) and Jena University Hospital (Germany).

Four innovative SMEs (Active Fiber Systems GmbH - Germany, Lightcore Technologies - France, Cambridge Raman Imaging Limited - UK and 3rdPlace Srl - Italy), including a biomedical equipment manufacturer, will commercially exploit the innovation, creating a competitive advantage in the European biophotonics market for microscopes and research and development tools.

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