Published: July 27, 2018

A 3D nano-imaging company built around CU Boulder technology and faculty just secured $1 million in investment funding from Luminate, an international startup accelerator focused on next-generation optics, photonics, and imaging.

"The partnership with BioFrontiers has been invaluable to the growth of Double Helix Optics. The Advanced Imaging Center offers unique opportunity to test our technology throughout the development process and our faculty collaborations have not only confirmed the power of our SPINDLE 3D imaging system but have also led to important new scientific discovery from neuroscience to biomolecule development," said Leslie Kimerling, Co-founder and CEO of Double Helix Optics. 

Double Helix Optics is an exclusive licensee of the university and was founded based on technology from the lab of company co-founder Rafael Piestun, professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering. The company applied to the Luminate program to help scale its operations and extend its reach into life sciences, drug discovery and machine vision markets.

Photo by Katie Heiser

Image taken by Double Helix Optics with SPINDLE((R) 3D imaging system in the BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core.

“We’ve been watching Double Helix’s progress with great interest, including their 2016 win at the SPIE Startup Challenge, so we could feel this coming,” said Brynmor Rees, Director of Technology Transfer at CU Boulder. “This achievement exemplifies the traction we’ve seen across many CU Boulder startups, which have collectively raised over $300 million in the last two years.”

Double Helix Optics is one of the industry tenants that shares space with BioFrontiers Institute in the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building. The resultant collaborations between industry and academic research strengthen both communities. "The BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core and Double Helix Optics have created a mutually beneficial relationship that helps us advance discovery and learning, and to drive the useful application of ideas. Through its use of the imaging facility, Double Helix has been able to pursue numerous academic partnerships and to field test their technologies, while the BioFrontiers and CU Boulder research communities have gained access to the advanced technology and imaging expertise of Double Helix. By working together, both entities have become more successful than if they were to have worked alone," said Joe Dragavon, Director of the BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core. 


Story adapted from original by Chris Yankee -