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Startup Developing 3-D Microscope Technology Receives Grant from NSF

Two-year SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation is worth $744,066

Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University startup has received federal funding to further develop a microscope that detects cellular motion in 3-D tissue.

Animated Dynamics Inc. has received a two-year SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation worth $744,066. The company was founded by Purdue physics professor David Nolte and Purdue basic medical sciences professor John Turek.

Nolte said Animated Dynamics' biodynamic microscope differs from traditional microscopes in several ways.

"Traditional microscopes magnify small objects," he said. "The biodynamic imaging microscope we are developing will study a cell's phenotype, which is the observable traits that result from how cells in tissues interact with their environment. Studying the phenotype means scientists can see how cell samples behave, mechanically and functionally, in the 3-D environment of living tissue."

Turek said the two-year grant will help the company develop the biodynamic microscope.

"We will be able to create a more refined commercial version of our imaging platform because of the NSF grant," he said. "After that, the next steps to develop the microscope will be extensive field testing by beta users."

The NSF previously awarded a six-month SBIR Phase I grant to Animated Dynamics in 2014 to develop the biodynamic microscope.

Animated Dynamics licenses technology through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. It is a member of the Purdue Startup Class of 2014. A video about the company is available at