ioLight in Electro Optics magazine


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


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.


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 for more information about the show.

For further information visit or email Andrew Monk  at

ioLight digital microscope

ioLight digital microscope

ioLight portable microscope at Innovate 2016

ioLight portable microscope at 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 ( and we might be able to arrange an event in the evening of the 2nd.

ioLight at the e-Luminate Light Lab, Cambridge

ioLight at the e-Luminate Light Lab


Come and see the ioLight portable microscope at the e-Luminate Light Lab at the Angela Ruskin University, Cambridge on Sat 29th Oct.

There will be ioLight microscopes for visitors to use with a wide range of samples to look at and Richard will be giving a brief talk at 1.30pm.

The link to the event is here:

Win a free ioLight Microscope!!!

Can you identify the image and win a microscope?

Win an ioLight microscope if you can!!


Does this image look familiar to you? Something you have around your house, or on your person perhaps?

Our friends at LabNews are giving away an ioLight high resolution portable microscope to anyone who can identify a series of images published on their website.

If you want to win an ioLight microscope, co straight to where you can also find out what last month’s image was!


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! 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

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

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.

ioLight stops for coffee

ioLight loves great coffee: It doesn’t get much better than Mokoko Coffee and Bakery in Bath!

Richard and Andrew stopped for coffee and a customer meeting at Mokoko opposite Bath Spa Station. The barista spotted the microscope and asked for an impromptu presentation. We soon had an ioLight microscope set up on the table outside the coffee shop with an image of Mokoko’s best freshly ground. I bet that that is the first time anyone has displayed 1 micron resolution images of arabica on a wobbly table in a busy shopping street. However, that’s what the ioLight microscope does best. We love it when someone produces an unexpected sample that we can look at and images. Much more exciting than ‘let’s take that back to the lab and see what it looks like’!

ioLight is looking for great new subjects from your town or home. Please contact us with new suggestions, particularly if they connect to current news stories. You could even write a news story for us to publish on our website!


The images show evenly sized grounds, but we spotted one smaller fine on this image. Our barista says that these small grounds can lead to a bitter flavour in the coffee. Mokoko is working hard on their grinding to ensure a good even result. This image was taken using a combination of  backside illumination to give good contrast and top illumination to show features in the top surface of the grounds.

If the coffee is anything to go by Mokoko is doing a great job. No bitter flavour there at all and a relaxing and convenient spot to sit in the sun and nibble on a croissant.

Thanks to Mokoko for the sample. A fascinating insight into the hard work of baristas.

More details on Mokoko at

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 (Free login required for the full article)