Singapore-based advanced microscopy startup, Phaos Technology Pte. Ltd., has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Japanese leading optical component manufacturer SIGMAKOKI Co., Ltd., to co-develop and manufacture a disruptive microsphere-assisted microscopy technology, OptoNano. OptoNano uses microsphere to upgrade the magnification of microscopes by up to 4 times using miniature glass spheres, in a cost-efficient way.
The strategic partnership agreement was signed at NUS Enterprise @ Singapore Science Park on 4th October 2019 between Mr. Yosuke Kondo, President & CEO of SIGMAKOKI Co., Ltd. and Prof. Hong Minghui, Director and Chairman of Phaos Technology Pte. Ltd. With this agreement, SIGMAKOKI and Phaos Technology will co-develop the OptoNano product line together. Their first product, OptoNano 200, will be launched at the Photonics West 2020, the leading event for the worldwide photonics industry, on 4th to 6th February 2020 in San Francisco, USA.
Using this patented technology, microscopes can be easily turned into nanoscopes by including these microspheres into the existing microscopes. This significantly increases the magnification of the objects that the microscopes are looking at, at an affordable price. There are many other advanced microscopy solutions available that could provide higher magnification. However, all other super-resolution microscopy are extremely expensive, and specimens need to be specially treated before it can be seen under such advanced solutions. Microsphere-assisted microscopy will cost a fraction of such advanced solutions, and can be used without treatment. This is highly useful in industries such as the biomedical and semiconductor sectors. In the biomedical industries, specimens cannot be treated as this will contaminate the specimens being observed. For semiconductor industries, without the need for treatment, these microscopes can be integrated into the production line to provide super-resolution imagery for quality control.
The microsphere technology was developed by Prof. Hong and his team in the National University of Singapore (NUS), Faculty of Engineering, Optical Science and Engineering Centre (OSEC). In 2010, Prof Hong conceived the idea of this novel optical microscope. In 2012, Prof Hong and his team obtained the Competitive Research Programme grant from National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) to develop a microsphere-based microscopy technology. The team spun off in 2017 to form Phaos Technology Pte. Ltd. and licensed the technology from NUS to commercialize it into a product.
About SIGMAKOKI Co., Ltd.
SIGMAKOKI Co., Ltd. is a listed company under the Tokyo JASDAQ. With over 40 years of experience in manufacturing optical component and opto-mechanical component to scientific research and photonics industry, SIGMAKOKI provides advanced optical solutions to a wide range of industries including semiconductor and electronics, flat panel display, biomedical and medicine, aviation and space development, and defence industry.
About Phaos Technology Pte. Ltd.
Phaos Technology Pte. Ltd. is an advanced optics technology startup based in Singapore, and a technology spin-off from the National University of Singapore. Phaos believes that optical related technology is the key to improving the future, hence we focus on commercializing research in advanced optical technology and make them accessible to the mass-market.