Rock in a surprising place

Yesterday we demonstrated the ioLight field microscope at The University of Oxford’s Earth Sciences department. Owen Green (also fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society@RoyalMicroSoc ) had some fantastic rock samples to test the ioLight pocket microscope with, including this rather exciting one.

ioLight pocket microscope uk - Sedimentary rock from summit of Everest courtesy of Owen Green, University of Oxford, Earth Sciences. Taken with ioLight pocket microscope

ioLight pocket microscope uk

We took the above image with the ioLight pocket microscope. The image is 1mm wide showing a polished section of rock. (ioLight pocket microscope)

If you are a geology expert, you will recognise this as a rather nice section through a sedimentary rock – ie one that was formed from debris that has accumulated at the bottom of the sea. This doesn’t sound that exciting until you find out where the rock sample came from – the summit of Mount Everest!  – proof that the tip of the highest mountain on earth was once at the bottom of the sea.

Faecal egg counting with the ioLight microscope

Parasite infections are common in cattle, sheep, horses and chickens and other animals and cause both suffering to the animal and loss of revenue for farmers. In the past farmers have often treated parasites with routine use of antimicrobial drugs (antibiotics). However extensive use of antimicrobials is causing antimicrobial resistance to build in parasites, potentially leading to untreatable infections and concerns with the antimicrobials entering the food chain and water supply.

To reduce this problem, farmers, horse owners and vets can test their animals to see if there is an infection that needs treating before giving the drugs, thus reducing unnecessary use of the drugs. This is done by counting parasite eggs in a sample of the animal faeces and then only using drugs if a significant number of disease causing parasite eggs are found.

Faecal egg counting is done by dissolving the faeces is water, adding salt solution to make the eggs float to the top, then putting a small amount of the this into a McMaster counting chamber and using a microscope to count the eggs.

Traditionally this is done be sending faeces samples to a lab and waiting for a day or 2 for the results. But using the ioLight high resolution field microscope this can be done in the field or in the back of a car thus reducing time before treatment can start and avoiding lab fees.

Below are images of parasite eggs taken with the ioLight high res digital microscope using a McMaster chamber. The lines in the images are the counting lines on the McMaster chamber. The chamber has 10 parallel lines, 1mm apart and 10mm long – you count all the eggs between the lines multiply up by a dilution by a factor to get an estimate of the concentration of eggs in the faeces.

Faecal parasite egg in McMaster counting chamber. Taken with ioLight field microscope.

Faecal parasite egg in McMaster counting chamber. Taken with ioLight field microscope.

Faecal parasite egg in McMaster counting chamber.

#TheVideoShow reviews the ioLight video

ioLight portable microscope video review

#TheVideoShow 64 ioLight pocket microscope video

Great video, tiny microscope

Every company needs a video! On a hot summer’s day in 2016 ioLight’s Andrew Monk went pond dipping in Whitchurch’s beautiful Millenium Meadow with Mark Harman of Red Book Productions. The result was ioLight’s Product Demonstration video, which shows Andrew using the ioLight pocket microscope in the field.

A couple of months later, and several degrees cooler,  Mark and Andrew met up again to discuss how they made the microscope video and how it has helped ioLight’s business.

You can watch their conversation in episode 64 of #TheVideoShow.

Lab resolution in your pocket

The ioLight video field microscope is the world’s first portable high resolution microscope. It delivers beautiful images and videos from the microscope directly onto a tablet or phone so that the whole team can see and share them. Image quality is similar to that of a laboratory microscope, but the ioLight microscope fits into your pocket, so you can take it anywhere.

The ioLight pocket microscope is already being used by Cambridge and Exeter universities, Bayer, The Eden Project and many other researchers and teachers that want to take science into the field or seminar room without compromising on quality.

In the video, ioLight’s Andrew Monk explains his personal passion for communicating science. The ioLight microscope is an invaluable tool for STEM education because it is so portable and simple to use but still delivers great quality images that are easy to paste into homework or Nobel Prize winning reports. Young scientists particularly love seeing images and videos from the microscope on the screen of a tablet, which is less complicated than a traditional laboratory microscope and less expensive too.

Watch #TheVideoShow to see how Mark and Andrew got on making the video and how easy it is to use compared with a laboratory microscope.

Eden Project endorses the world’s first portable high resolution microscope

The Eden Project uses the ioLight microscope to investigate plant disease

eden-2-6-10-16ioLight is delighted to announce that the Eden Project is now a customer and using the ioLight pocket microscope in their study of plant disease and soil samples.

Launched in 2016, the ioLight microscope is the first professional quality pocket digital microscope. It fits in a jacket pocket, is simple to use and robust. It unfolds quickly to record and share 5MP still images and real time HD video at a magnification of x200 on an iPad Air.

Based in Cornwall, England, the Eden Project is an educational charity that is nestled in a huge crater which was formerly a china clay pit. It includes two massive Biomes – the larger one housing the largest rainforest in captivity, the other showcasing areas of the world that have a Mediterranean climate. Both the covered biomes and the outdoor area contain stunning plants and exhibitions.

The Eden Project trialled the ioLight microscope for a number of months, mainly looking at plant disease and soil samples but also for public demonstrations, before making their decision to purchase.
Chris Bisson, Policy Development Manager at the Eden Project, says “Here at the Eden Project we have used the ioLight Digital Microscope for a wide range of activities, from investigating plant diseases to
demonstrating the microscopic world of pond water to school children. It’s really easy to use and has been brilliant for enthusing both children and adults in the microscopic world around us.”

The resolution of the ioLight microscope is 1 micron, that’s 1/1,000 mm – powerful enough to see the structure of plant and animal cells. The product uses standard microscope slides and features adjustable top and bottom illumination for use on both biological and opaque samples. It is particularly good for live samples, which deteriorate on the journey back to the lab, and it works anywhere, even without a WiFi or mobile phone network. at what can one of the most stressful times for animal owners.

Rachel Warmington, Plant Pathologist at Eden, has been using the microscope in her study of Panama disease, a disease that has no chemical control and threatens to destroy the world’s supply of bananas.

The portability of the ioLight microscope has been particularly useful as it is imperative that no pathogens are allowed entry into the Biomes.
In addition, Rachel has been looking at the powdery mildew Erysiphe graminis synonym Blumeria graminis which has ascospores of 20-24 microns x 10-14 microns. “Having a personal microscope has proved extremely useful and is a great way to capture images.”

Last year, more than 47,000 school children visited Eden, and with an increase expected this year the microscope is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience science up close. It is perfect for field trips: students and teachers can carry portable microscopes in their bags and connect them to personal tablets or phones.

Just as the compact digital camera made photography available to anyone, the ioLight microscope is always available to look at pond water, plant cells and anything else that comes to hand.

Portable Microscopy Sells Micro-Engineering

 Portable Field Microscopy - Great article in Micro Matters iolight article dec 2016

Portable Field Microscopy – Great article in Micro Matters.

Portable Field Microscopy: Great article in Micro Matters about the ioLight portable microscope – read the article on page 22

ioLight in the spotlight at UK’s largest innovation show

ioLight in the spotlight at UK’s largest innovation show

ioLight from Hampshire was one of 25 trailblazing innovators from across the country to launch new innovations and products at Innovate 2016 this week.

The two-day event in Manchester was hosted by the Department for International Trade and Innovate UK and is the largest cross-sector innovation show in the UK.

ioLight exhibited their new portable field microscope – the first portable digital microscope which delivers lab quality images to your iPad or iPhone.

Innovate UK Chief Executive Ruth McKernan said: “I congratulate ioLight on their success in winning a place and thank them for their involvement in our annual flagship show of innovation excellence across the UK. This year we saw an increase in the number of companies launching new products at the event. It is important for Innovate UK to support the showcasing of companies’ achievements, helping to raise visibility of their brand and demonstrating the impact that results from our support.”

Richard Williams, co-founder of ioLight said “ Innovate 2016 has been a great success for ioLight – everyone loved our 1 micron resolution portable microscope and we have received numerous compliments on the quality of the images, ease of use and design of the product. We even sold a microscope on the stand and the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones saw the microscope and tweeted about us!”

iolight-portable-microscope-at-innovate-2016

ioLight in Electro Optics magazine

electro-optics-article

Great article in Electro Optics magazine about the ioLight high resolution portable microscope for iPad and iPhone. The article is on page 32 of the current edition of Electro Optics which is available here

ioLight at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas

ioLight exhibited the portable microscope at the e-Luminate Light Lab as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas on the 29th Oct 2016.

It was a lovely event with many families taking part in the interactive displays. It was great to have Laura Brooks from The Naked Scientist to join us for the day and write this simply beautiful piece on The Light Lab – read it in full here.

On the ioLight stand Richard had 2 microscopes and a range of different samples. The pond water survived the long trip from Richard’s garden and the visitors were fascinated by the tardigrades that we found in the pond water – see the video here

pocket-microscope-iolight

ioLight and Bayer present the first professional pocket microscope, at the London Vet Show

Bayer is delighted to present the ioLight microscope on its stand at the London Vet Show 2016.

iolight-bayer-logo

Until now, the only way to diagnose disease accurately using a microscope has been to take samples and send them back to a laboratory for expensive and time-consuming tests, carried out by experienced pathologists. With the arrival of the ioLight microscope however,  vets can immediately look at the sample and be able to either reassure pet owners or farmers , or prioritise  laboratory diagnosis and treatment, if they are concerned.

Launched in 2016, the ioLight microscope is the first professional-quality pocket digital microscope.  It fits in a jacket pocket, is simple to use and robust. It unfolds quickly to record and share 5MP still images and real time HD video at a magnification of x200 on an iPad Air®.

The resolution is 1 micron – that’s 1/1,000 mm – powerful enough to see the structure of plant and animal cells. The product uses standard microscope slides and features adjustable top and bottom illumination for use on both biological and opaque samples. It is particularly good for live samples, which can deteriorate on the journey back to the lab, and it works anywhere, even without a WiFi or mobile phone network. at what can be one of the most stressful times for  animal owners.

ioLight is delighted to have been asked to assist Bayer on their stand at the London Vet Show. The microscope will be used to demonstrate Bayer’s products, with both Andrew Monk and Richard Williams, the founders of ioLight, in attendance.

James Crawford, Head of Marketing at Bayer, says “Bayer is delighted to present the ioLight microscope on our stand at the London Vet Show 2016. The microscope provides  fantastically clear images and is simple to use, showing off Bayer’s products for all our customers to see.”

Vets also experience problems at the side of the pen on the farm.  In the past, farmers have treated their livestock regularly for worms. However, there is now a strong move by governments to reduce the amount of drugs in the food chain and tackle resistance and vets are increasingly encouraged to test animals for parasites before treatment, to avoid over-prescription. This means sending samples off to the lab, which can lead to delays in treatment.

Professor Mike Taylor, a recognised veterinary expert and Diplomate of the European Veterinary Parasitology College, is in the process of evaluating the ioLight microscope as a tool for the diagnosis of parasitic infections of domestic animals. Normally he uses a laboratory microscope for this work but they are not routinely used on a farm. He has also tried a portable digital microscope, but finds it does not give the resolution required for identification of protozoan parasite species or for counting nematode eggs. Professor Taylor says “The ioLight’s portability, image quality and connectivity to the Apple iPad® offer great potential for the development of rapid methods for identifying parasites, or determining parasite burdens.  I can envisage its use by both veterinarians and suitably trained livestock farmers, in the practice laboratory or directly on the farm”.

Andrew Monk, founder of ioLight, says “Since our launch earlier this year we have seen a massive interest from the veterinary sector. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate our microscope to such a large audience, and are looking forward to working with Bayer.”

Come and see the ioLight microscope on the Bayer stand, R20 at the London Vet Show, 17 – 18 November at Excel. Visit http://www.londonvetshow.co.uk/ for more information about the show.

For further information visit  iolight.co.uk or email Andrew Monk  at andrew.monk@iolight.co.uk.

ioLight digital microscope

ioLight digital microscope

ioLight portable microscope at Innovate 2016

ioLight portable microscope at Innovate 2016

innovate-2016

ioLight is exhibiting its new portable high resolution microscope at the Innoavate 2016 trade show at Manchester Central on 2nd and 3rd of November. Please come along and see us! We will have 2 of our digital microscopes and a range of samples for you to try.

We exhibited a prototype at last year’s show and it was a great event with a diverse range of technology companies exhibiting and interesting talks from industry and government.

If you are in Manchester on the 2nd of Nov and would like to see the ioLight pocket microscope, but don’t want to register for the Innovate 2016 show, then please let us know (info@iolight.co.uk) and we might be able to arrange an event in the evening of the 2nd.