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Objective of the project

Most diseases including cancers, viral infections, neurodegenerative conditions, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders, all originate from a molecular level disruption of the biological cell lifecycle. Each year the cost to the EU is ca. 1.9 million lives and ca. €200 billion in health care, informal care and productivity loss for cancers alone.

Current live cell imaging tools can only provide a limited view of the in vivo and in vitro microenvironments where diseases originate and grow. The result is a gap in our understanding of the biochemical cellular makeup and how their disturbance leads to disease. By increasing accuracy and speed of imaging and analysis, the gap can be closed allowing novel medical treatments and diagnostics tailored to patients’ specific conditions. uCAIR brings successful R&D photonics SMEs, research laboratories in optics and cell biology, and world-leading microscopists and clinicians to create an innovative, versatile, practical multimodal photonics platform that will enhance and speed up the way cells are examined by scientists and healthcare professionals.

uCAIR will achieve breakthrough results by developing a laser platform that inventively combines non-linear optical fibers, optronics, wide-band coherent Raman and artificial intelligence technologies to image at video rates and track cells and biological tissues with augmented chemometric digitalisation. The new coherent light sources will be suitable for fundamental research microscopes and microfluidic channels but also in medical imaging instruments, encompassing a value chain for new biomarker discoveries and translation into medical endoscopy, for example during cystoscopy and resection of bladder cancer.

Technology progression to TRL 6 will allow first mover advantage with sustainable supply chain. In this way, uCAIR sustains the European leadership in photonics to deliver continuous innovation and outstanding benefits for its economy and the health of its population.

uCAIR project is funded by the European Union under HORIZON EUROPE program.

Horizon europe

Contribution of Multitel

In the UCAIR project, Multitel develops a multi-wavelength fiber laser source emitting picosecond pulses in the NIR (Near Infra-Red). One of these wavelengths is rapidly adjustable (> 100 kHz,   = 80 nm). This last property allows to realize ultra-fast Raman spectroscopy devices (CARS) capable of analyzing the chemical composition of biological samples. This spectroscopy device will be applied in-fine to the detection of cancer cells in real time thus making it possible to compensate for the slowness and imprecision of histological methods currently commonly applied.




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