Published: March 13, 2019 By

double helix team with PRISM Awards

The Double Helix Optics team celebrate with their SPIE 2019 Prism Award. From left to right: Rafael Piestun, Co-Founder; Leslie Kimerling, Co-Founder and CEO; Warren Colomb - Optical Engineer; Scott Gaumer - Director of Life Sciences.

Double Helix Optics, a 3D nano-imaging company spun out of CU Boulder technology, won SPIE’s 2019 Prism Award in the Diagnostics and Therapeutics category for its innovative SPINDLE® imaging system. 

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, presents this prestigious award to organizations that bring the best new optics and photonics products to market.


Double Helix's SPINDLE® imaging system.

The SPINDLE® is an attachment for widefield microscopes that captures high-precision, super-resolution 3D imagery of cellular structures down to the single molecular level. No other technology in the market currently offers this level of visual clarity and data capture.

"Our technology is already enabling new discoveries in a range of scientific fields from neuroscience to cancer. And we have only just begun,” said Leslie Kimerling, co-founder and CEO of Double Helix Optics, in a statement.

Double Helix Optics co-founder Rafael Piestun, professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, developed the technology behind the company in his lab on the CU Boulder campus. The company exclusively licensed eight different patents from Venture Partners at CU Boulder (formerly the Technology Transfer Office).

“This is yet another honor for Double Helix Optics. They exemplify the characteristics so many startups strive for – a great team, compelling market, and breakthrough product,” said Brynmor Rees, associate vice chancellor of research and innovation and managing director of Venture Partners at CU Boulder. “Leslie and her team are wonderful collaborators, and we are fortunate to have them co-located on the university campus.”

To learn more about how the university creates innovative startups like Double Helix Optics, visit Venture Partners at CU Boulder.