End of 2017
The RCM can be controlled via user-friendly interfaces in free source imaging software of Labview and Micro-Manager. This addition makes the RCM equally easy to use with inverted microscopes of Zeiss, Leica, Olympus and Nikon.
Beginning of 2017
First commercial units are delivered to customers.
Several workshops and conferences to introduce the RCM are scheduled for 2017.
First public show of the RCM prototype and very successful workshops at the European Light Microscopy Initiative meeting (ELMI) in Debrecen Hungary.
With the help of the investment from UvA Ventures, Confocal.nl is officially established by Erik Manders, Peter Drent and Ronald Breedijk.
Peter Drent, formerly involved in the RCM project via an STW consortium,
joins Erik Manders and Ronald Breedijk in planning to start the company to further commercialize the RCM. The name and the logo are invented.
The first public presentation of the RCM at the Focus on Microscopy meeting (FOM) in Göttingen. The first potential future customers are met.
Winter of 2015
Giulia De Luca attends the “bootcamp training” of ACE-Venture-lab (Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship). The RCM project gets selected to the second round as having high commercial perspective. 3 months of intensive coaching and training yield a more clear business plan.
Winter of 2014/15
The start of the first marketing activities: the first website to introduce the RCM concept and prototype is launched, number of presentations and demonstrations are given to advertise the technology and several befriended laboratories are asked to become the RCM test-sites.
The RCM gets a user-friendly interface to control its operation. The RCM controls are integrated in the Nikon NIS Elements software. The software is made by the developers of Laboratory Imaging (Prague), the company that makes the software for Nikon.
Concept of the re-scan confocal microscope is tested by Giulia De Luca at the Amsterdam Science Innovation Award competition. Good invention and fantastic presentation bring her the first prize (5000 euro) out of 90 candidates.
A few months later another first prize is awarded to Giulia De Luca: “Most promising scientist of Amsterdam” (1000 euro). This recognition motivates the team to continue the track of commercialization of the RCM.
New easy-to-use prototype of the RCM is assembled using new microscope stand, lasers, high quality objectives and camera (all purchased from the extra financial injection, laser unit donated by Nikon and additional lasers by Coherent).
The RCM set-up is for the first time used in biological application.
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) domain STW together with Nikon and Coherent give the “Ultra Sensitive Confocal Microscopy” project extra financial injection to build an easy-to-use prototype of the RCM. The invention of the RCM was not the aim of the original STW Connecting Innovators project, and such great success had not been foreseen.
Autumn and winter 2013
Expecting guests from Nikon Japan in early 2014, first steps are made to build the RCM in a compact format (A3-sized box). After the visit, the inventors conclude that there is a great interest in the RCM, and decide to go on with further developments.
As part of Giulia De Luca’s PhD, the re-scanning invention, the basis of the re-scan confocal microscope (RCM) is 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.
The first experimental set-up for re-scan is constructed, the first images have been obtained. The re-scanning concept really works and provides the expected improvement in resolution. It was great to see 170 nm resolution for the first time!
The project “Ultra Sensitive Confocal Microscopy” led by Erik Manders and financed by
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) domain STW Connecting Innovators scheme starts.
Aim: – 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 lab.