Cambridge Raman Imaging Limited (CRIL), a Frontier IP Group portfolio firm, has been awarded €140,000 (£116,380) in EU funding to accelerate development of its graphene-enabled scanning microscope.
CRIL, which was spun out from the University of Cambridge and Italian university Politecnico di Milano in 2018, is developing a microscope which uses graphene to modulate ultra-short pulses of light to diagnose and track cancer tumors.
The technology will target real-time digital images of fresh tissue samples to show the extent of tumors, their response to drug treatments and to allow surgeons to see if a cancer has been completely removed.
Frontier, which owns 33.3% of the firm, said CRIL’s technology will be compact enough to be used in operating rooms, reducing the time needed for analysis which currently requires samples to be extracted from a patient and then taken to a lab.
Potential future applications include scanning bodily fluids for pathogens and tumor cells, as well as in imaging semiconductors or proteins.
The grant is funded by the EU’s graphene flagship, an initiative to help develop uses for graphene in society from academic research.
"Cambridge Raman Imaging is our first spin out to develop a graphene-based technology. Although the first applications are in healthcare, we believe there could be broader applications in other industries”, said Frontier’s chief executive Neil Crabb.
“We're delighted the EU Graphene Flagship recognizes the potential of the technology with the grant award to accelerate its development", he added.