Photonic is currently developing a novel multi-colour light source for microscopy and endoscopy which promises lower costs and a longer service life. It also delivers more energy in the desired excitation spectrum for fluorescence applications.

In its quest into ever smaller worlds, medicine needs increasingly more efficient tools. As a result, the significance of fluorescence imaging for medical and laboratory diagnostics is growing, especially in the early detection and treatment of tumours. This is due to the fact that, despite the widespread use of imaging technologies such as sonography or MR, surgeons ultimately rely on their trained eye, e.g. when they have to remove cancer foci. Finding the dividing line between a tumour and healthy tissue is a difficult task. This is where fluorescence microscopy and endoscopy can be of great service.

Having a powerful light source is particularly important. The current trend is moving in the direction of LED solutions which allow for a much more economical operation. They require less power and have a significantly longer service life than xenon lamps, which have to be replaced after around 1,000 hours. Photonic is working on a completely new solution in this field, a multi-colour light source. It is based on the F6000-M, currently the brightest endoscopy light source on the market and expands the spectrum beyond the visible range (VIS) and into NIR and UV. To achieve this, the new light optically mixes several LEDs and couples them together again in a light guide. “It uses high-power LEDs, some of which are not yet available on the free market and have been specially developed for our requirements”, Photonic product manager Christoph Csekö emphasises. The optics design required for the mixing of the beam comes from WILD. “Of course, if a customer or an application requires laser instead of LED, we can also offer a solution.”

Multicolour light sources are already available on the market, but they are fitted with expensive xenon lamps or several colour LEDs. Their disadvantage is that there are gaps in the spectrum between these LEDs. Photonic’s new development, however, offers a solution with a continuous white spectrum and additional fluorescence ranges in the UV and NIR spectrum. Its advantage over individual colour LEDs is the continuous Visible Spectrum (VIS) and the extensions beyond VIS, allowing for a more universal use of the module. Compared to xenon light sources, the new light
delivers clear economic (no lamp replacement) and ecological (no lamp disposal) advantages. WILD develops the multi-colour light source primarily according to specific customer requirements and integrates it in microscopes or endoscopes as a module.