New Delhi: In a boost to life sciences research, an indigenous and cost-effective confocal microscope has been developed in India which will provide three dimensional images.
Unlike conventional microscopes which give two dimensional images, the confocal microscope will enable to come up with 3D images. This plays a vital role in scientific understanding of nano-materials and biological objects.
At present, these are only available at limited number of science laboratories in India due to their prohibitive cost.
The microscope is a joint public-private partnership effort of the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata- a research institute of Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research- and Vinish Technologies Pvt Ltd.
"Scientists also want to understand the spectroscopic behaviour of materials and this can be achieved only using Broad Spectrum Confocal Microscope. The unique nature of super continuum light makes spectral coverage for all forms of confocal microscopy and for fluorescence imaging over wide range of wavelength.
"The confocal microscope is illuminated using a Super continuum Light Source. At the global level, there are only a few Super continuum Source manufacturers as well as Confocal Microscope," said Kamal Dasgupta, director CGCRI.
"The laser technology in the microscope enables to focus on the object very tightly. It also has a pinhole, with which it filters out unwanted stray light," said Ramdas Pillai, MD of the Thiruvananthapuram-based Vinish Technologies.
The microscope is also cost effective. "At present, price of a confocal microscope is around Rs 4 crore, but we are selling it for Rs 1.5 crore. So it is very cost effective," Pillai added.
K VijayRaghvan, secretary in the Departments of Biotechnology and Science & Technology said this was not only a "tremendous" experiment of working with the industry and also taking the indigenously made technology all over the world.
"In much of life sciences research, confocal microscope has become a common thing. With an exception of few, most of our laboratories are purchasing the machine from abroad. This will help in medical research, life sciences, material industry and other industries," VijayRaghvan said.
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Science & Technology, who unveiled the product, said that with the development, "we have proved more to us and less to others" of India's scientific capabilities.