ioLight wins the golden ticket and visits EnJoy! Raw Chocolate

Chocolate crystals viewed under the ioLight microscope

EnJoy Raw Chocolate has a fabulous new production facility in Andover close to ioLight HQ. They make a truly delicious product and best of all it is organic, vegan and free from the yucky additives of mass produced confectionery. So of course we had to think of an excuse to visit Chris and Steph.

enjoy-intense-chocolate

enJoy! Raw chocolate is made using Raw Peruvian Criollo Cacao, known as the “Queen of Cacao”, and sweetened naturally with coconut blossom sugar, with a Glycemic Index (GI) of 35. It’s raw because the cacao is never processed above 42 degrees Celsius, allowing the nutrients to remain intact. The result is a luxurious raw dark chocolate with a great texture and a taste to savour!

Chris showed us round their wonderful process and explained that the secret to that texture is controlling the size of those crystals to below 20μm.

We gently softened the EnJoy! Intense over a cup of espresso before putting it on the microscope. The sample is quite thick so we lit it from above using ioLight’s top illuminator. The background on this image is quite dark compared with most of our other images because the bottom illuminator is switched off. The top illuminator has picked out the edges of the chocolate crystals quite nicely. We like this image because it shows off our top illuminator instead of the bottom illuminator we normally use on translucent samples.

The image shows that Enjoy has successfully reached that 20μm target. Perhaps that partly explains why this is the best chocolate we have tasted.

Thanks to Chris for showing us around. You can find out more and buy EnJoy Raw Chocolate on line at http://www.enjoyrawchocolate.com/.

It seems that we have eaten all the samples. Please may we have some more, purely for research of course?

ioLight portable microscope vs laboratory microscope shootout

Has the ioLight pocket microscope met its match with the laboratory microscope?

At ioLight we claim that our digital microscope is “comparable” with a laboratory microscope. What does that mean?

The Quekett Microscopical Club’s invited ioLight to it’s annual exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum. The catch? A direct head to head comparison with a professional grade laboratory microscope!

We admit to being rather nervous about the shootout. The laboratory microscope in question is a real beauty: Alan Wood’s trinocular Olympus CH-2 with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera. Alan turned up with several large cases and camera bags. We thought of challenging him to a race on public transport to Kew Gardens, but that would have been unfair! Mike Smith made six microscope slides in three sets of almost identical pairs for us to compare on the two microscopes.

Alan confidently turned away leaving us nervously placing Mike’s immaculately mounted slides onto the stages of the two microscopes. So how did we get on?

Well on size, weight, price and convenience the ioLight pocket microscope wins easily.

On image quality, we have to admit that the images from Alan’s Olympus are beautiful. They show great colour fidelity, evenness of illumination and flatness of field.

So we are happy with our claim that images from the ioLight portable microscope are “comparable” with those from the laboratory microscope.

ioLight Daffodil Ovary compared with Laboratory microscope

ioLight image of a daffodil ovary stained with astra blue and safranin

 

Laboratory microscope image of a daffodil ovary stained with astra blue and safranin

Olympus image of a daffodil ovary stained with astra blue and safranin

Both images are edited on Photoshop elements. You can see the originals and Alan’s http://www.quekett.org/about/reports/2016-exhibition-public#iolight.

We are hugely grateful to Alan Wood, Mike Smith and the Quekett Microscopical Club for making us so welcome and for their hard work and experimental method in setting up this test.

Thank you.

The Pathologist reviews “Small but Mighty” ioLight microscope

Small, But Mighty

Does microscope portability always mean a compromise in image quality? Possibly not…

The Pathologist, July/August 2016

The Pathologist says: Picture a laboratory and many of us get the same image: a set of benchtops crowded with equipment from thermocyclers to hot plates. Dominating the scene is the king of the lab, a large microscope with a bulky stage, illuminator, and perhaps even a computer or digital camera attachment. We’ve all seen – probably even worked in – laboratories just like this. But this kind of setup doesn’t work for everyone, especially pathologists who are “on the road” teaching, training, or working in remote field environments. Those pathologists need an entirely different kind of microscope – but unfortunately, their options to date have not been great. Portable microscopes usually mean a compromise on image quality, whereas the instruments that could provide the detail and resolution needed for definitive diagnosis are too large, sensitive, and resource-intensive for field use. It’s clear that we need a better solution – and that’s where I hope our new take on field microscopy comes in.

At a Glance

  • Current microscopes, both optical and digital, tend to offer either high-resolution images (<1 μm) or easy portability – but rarely both
  • Devices that can be taken into remote field situations or used for teaching often lack stages, stands and illuminators – features necessary for capturing high-quality images
  • We have developed a new model of digital microscope that uses a foldable design to combine sample support and illumination with portability
  • Devices like these pave the way to not only better patient care – especially under difficult conditions – but also teaching, training and public engagement

See the full article at https://thepathologist.com/issues/0716/small-but-mighty/ (Free login required for the full article)

ioLight helps in the fight against cancer

Thanks to Dan Siegel, Clinical Professor of Dermatology and skin cancer expert at SUNY Downstate, New York for sending us these slides. Dan says “Good quality images of Basal cell carcinoma. It looks like you are on to something!”

As ioLight starts to identify target markets for the Magnificent Mobile Microscope, this image demonstrates how we can help in the fight against Cancer.

The low cost, portability and ease of capturing and sharing images will provide a useful tool for fast detection of carcinomas in the clinic. Just as importantly, ioLight will help the clinician to explain the condition to the patient and to communicate with colleagues.

ioLight is now testing prototype manufacturing microscopes with customers and we are getting significant interest in the product across several vertical markets. Production is fast approaching – watch out for news of product launch soon.

The Eden Project endorses ioLight

The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world. Its visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in an ex-china clay quarry. Massive conservatories housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to its Great Gardens, summer concerts and an exciting year-round family events programme.

Gabi Gilkes, Science Programme Manager at The Eden Project says “We were really excited when we got to play with the ioLight microscope. It really feels like it might be the future of personal microscopy and we are really looking forward to having it here as part of our program.”

We showed the ioLight microscope to the scientists and technicians at the Eden project and the room was soon full of application ideas:

  • Showing microscopic samples to visitors on TV monitors in the new Planet You the human microbiome exhibition
  • Displays for young children using the ioLight microscope will be easier to see and will overcome current issues with spreading conjunctivitis between children
  • The Eden Project carefully quarantines new plant stock to ensure that specimens are free of disease and parasites before they are introduced to the biomes.

When we asked what The Eden Project thought of the microscope they simply said “The ioLight microscope is Awesome!”