Beginning of 2017
First commercial units were delivered to the customers.
Several workshops and conferences were scheduled for 2017 (including HOLM 2107 (Luxemburg), FOM 2107 (Bordeaux), ELMI2017 (Dubrovnik), MMC 2107 (Manchester), and at the Seeing is believing – Imaging the Processes of Life conference in Heidelberg.
First public show of the prototype RCM and very successful workshops at annual conference ELMI2016 in Debrecen Hungary
Four years after the first project and idea, Confocal.nl was officially established by Erik Manders, Peter Drent, and Ronald Breedijk.
Peter, Erik and Ronald started planning the
company. The name and a logo were invented.
The commercial version of RCM was presented to the public for the first time, during the Focus on Microscopy (FOM) 2015 in Göttingen. The aim was to learn from the potential future customers.
Winter of 2015
Giulia attended the “bootcamp training” of ACE-Venture-lab (Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship). The RCM-project was selected to go on with the second round, a more intensive training during 3 months. During the intensive coaching the business plan became clearer.
Winter of 2014/15
- Built the first website for information about RCM
- Contacted several befriended laboratories, and asked them to become test-site for the RCM
- Number of presentations and demonstrations were given with the new set-up to advertise for the technology.
After some specs-exchange, we drove the RCM to LIM (Prague), the company that makes the software for Nikon. Here the software developers made a nice user-friendly interface to control the RCM via NIS Elements. Now, RCM was integrated in the Nikon software.
Giulia subscribed for the Amsterdam Science Innovation Award, and after a fantastic presentation, she was awarded with the first prize (5000 euro) out of 90 candidates.
A few months later she was awarded with another first prize: “Most promising scientist of Amsterdam” (1000 euro). This motivated the team to go on with the commercial track that was started.
With the extra financial injection, the team purchased a new microscope stand, lasers, high quality objectives and camera.
Nikon donated a laser unit and Coherent extra lasers. The set-up was tested and used in first biological application.
The invention of RCM was not planned in the original project, and such great success was not foreseen. Since the experimental set-up was not usable for biologists, extra financial injection was requested from STW to build an easy-to-use prototype of the RCM. This request was granted, and Nikon and Coherent also contributed.
Autumn and winter, 2013
Expecting guests from Nikon Japan in early 2014, first steps were made to build the RCM in a relatively small box (A3-format). After the visit of the design manager from Nikon Japan, the team decided that they were on the right track, and decided to go on with further developments.
As part of Giulia’s PhD, the results had to be published ASAP:
- G. M. R. De Luca, R. M. P. Breedijk, E. M. M. Manders et al., “Re-scan confocal microscopy: scanning twice for better resolution”, Biomedical Optics Express 4 (2013).
Team – Ronald Breedijk, Giulia De Luca and Erik Manders – invented the RCM.
Construction of the experimental set-up. First images were obtained,these proved that the rescanning concept really worked. It was great to see 170nm resolution for the first time!
STW project “Ultra Sensitive Confocal Microscopy”
– to increase sensitivity by using new detectors (e.g. CCD or CMOS) and combination with SCIM (Spatially Controlled Illumination Microscopy).
Giulia De Luca, Venkat Krishnaswami and Christiaan Zeelenberg join the team