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

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Microscopy and Analysis features ioLight

Microscopy and Analysis, the well respected professional magazine, recently featured an editorial on the ioLight microscope. Microscopy and Analysis is the leading international journal for microscopists, with over 46,000 subscribers and 120,000 readers worldwide.

Microscopy and Analysis says

“UK-based start up, ioLight, has launched what is described as the first high resolution pocket digital microscope.

According to the company, the instrument displays beautiful images on an iPad for sharing and pasting into reports.
For the first time scientists of all ages can capture and share professional quality images in the field instead of bringing samples back to the lab.”

ioLight reached finals of UK Business Angels Association award

UK Business Angels Association announces that ioLight has is an Award Finalist for its prestigious “Best Equity Crowdfunded & Angel Investment Award”

The UKBAA awards celebrate the achievement and impact of the UK Angel investment communities and their role in backing the UK’s most exciting high growth businesses

Now in their 11th year, the annual UK Angel Investment Awards recognise the high growth and success of the UK’s fastest growing brands, acknowledging the angels, crowdfund and early stage venture capital investors supporting them from start-up to scale-up.

The competition highlights the role played by the investors, the growth potential of ioLight as well as the impact the funding has had on the company in terms of supporting its plans to achieve high growth going forward. This award is sponsored by the Isle of Man Government.


ioLight X The Big Innovation Centre

The Big Innovation Centre exists to help businesses, public agencies and universities put their open innovation principles into practice. This Wednesday 16th September, ioLight and The Big Innovation Centre are teaming up to bring you an exclusive open day designed to give you an insight into the world of ioLight and mobile microscopy innovation.

Hosted by ioLight’s Andrew Monk and Richard Williams, the event promises to be a unique opportunity to meet the faces behind the design, see the ioLight microscope in action and ask the founders any questions you have about ioLight and our magnificent mobile microscope.

Space at the event is limited, so please contact us at to book your place at one of the three sessions. Details of timings and location can be found below or over at the ioLight website. We look forward to meeting you.

Team ioLight


Event schedule:

12:30 (simple lunch provided)


The Big Innovation Centre
Ergon House
4th floor
Horseferry Road

(The venue is next to Lambeth Bridge, just 10 minutes walk from Parliament Square)

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!”