The license for two-photon laser microscopy (also known as multiphoton microscopy, and protected by patents dating back to July 23, 1991) has been transferred from the British firm Bio-Rad Laboratories to Germany's Carl Zeiss. Both Bio-Rad and Carl Zeiss have been manufacturing confocal laser microscopes incorporating multiphoton technology.
Additionally, Carl Zeiss has signed collaboration and development agreements with Cornell, in Ithaca, N.Y., and with multiphoton microscopy co-inventor Watt W. At Cornell, Webb, a biophysicist, is director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Developmental Resource for Biophysical Imaging and Opto-electronics (DRBIO) and is the S.B. Eckert Professor in Engineering. Co-inventor Winfied Denk is a director of Germany's Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research in Biomedical Optics.
Multiphoton microscopy produces high-resolution, three-dimensional images of tissues -- in the central nervous system, for example, or in pre-cancerous cells -- with minimal damage to living cells. The procedure begins when extremely short, intense pulses of laser light are directed at cells below the surface. The rapid-fire nature of multiphoton microscopy increases the probability that two or three photons will interact with individual biological molecules at the same time, combining their energies. The cumulative effect is the equivalent of delivering one photon with twice the energy (half the wavelength, in the case of two-photon excitation) or three times the energy (one-third the wavelength in three-photon excitation) to illuminate th
Contact: Roger Segelken
Cornell University News Service