Crimson - Coherent Raman Imaging for the Molecular Study of the Origin of Diseases
CRIMSON aims to provide a next-generation bio-photonics imaging device based on vibrational spectroscopy, with the potential to revolutionise the study of the cellular origin of diseases allowing for novel approaches towards personalised therapy. We will employ label-free broadband coherent Raman scattering (CRS) extended to the fingerprint region, in combination with artificial-intelligence spectroscopic data analysis, for fast cell/tissue classification with unprecedented biochemical sensitivity. We will develop a hyperspectral CRS microscope for 3D quantitative imaging of sub-cellular compartments in living cells and organoids. High acquisition speed will enable the observation of intra- and inter-cellular dynamic changes by time-lapse imaging. We will simulate future in-vivo studies and demonstrate the capability to image inside the body, realizing an innovative CRS endoscope and applying it to ex-vivo thick tissue slides. CRIMSON relies on the development of new compact ultrafast lasers, innovative broadband CRS detection schemes and advanced spectral analysis routines. To validate the CRS platform, we will investigate three open biological questions related to cancer, as paradigmatic examples of the complexity and heterogeneity of cellular diseases. The results will have profound societal impacts, improving patients’ quality of life and reducing public healthcare costs. CRIMSON brings together a multidisciplinary team of world-leading academic organizations, biomedical end users and innovative SMEs, with vertical integration of all required skills. CRIMSON will bridge the gap between research and product development, increasing the TRL and making CRS a user-friendly, robust and cost-effective mainstream tool for a vast biological research community. Commercial exploitation by the participating SMEs, including a biomedical equipment manufacturer, will create a competitive advantage in the European biophotonics-related market for microscopes and R&D tools.