ExtreMed – Extreme Ultrashort Pulses for Advanced Medical Applications and Diagnostics


In neuroscience, medical imaging and clinical applications, fast non-invasive and non-destructive extraction of detailed cellular and functional behaviour of complex samples are of particular importance.

Multi-photon microscopy has emerged as a powerful research and pre-clinical tool and allows for high quality imaging and deep tissue penetration, rendering it an effective tool for observations of live tissue. For complex sample imaging and functional behaviour mapping, repeated scans are required in standard multi-photon microscopy, increasing the total imaging time and photo-induced damage while fast processes, such as protein-protein interaction, can be missed or only partly imaged due to the narrow wavelength laser excitation per scan.

The scope of ExtreMed is to meet these demands by the use of proprietary and patented technologies to develop the SyncRGB-FLIM multi-color bioimaging technique, where the few-cycle ultra-broadband femtosecond laser promoted single-scan operation, results in advanced imaging with lowered photo-induced damage and extending deep tissue imaging capabilities.

The integrated value proposition of ExtreMed will allow corporate and scientific customers of the microscopy market willing to implement this syncRGB-FLIM technology, based on ultrafast laser systems, within their ecosystem.

Expected Outcomes

  • A fully operational and characterized few cycle laser prototype;
  • broadband passive pulse shaper;
  • A stand-alone SyncRGB-FLIM system;
  • An in vitro study using SyncRGB-FLIM on commercially available nanodrug delivery system;
  • Publication of scientific papers, PhD and MSc thesis;
  • Participation in technological fairs, national and international conferences, forums and seminars.
Start Date – End Date: April 1, 2020 – April 1, 2023
Scientific Area: Nanotechnologies

Few-cycle ultra-broadband femtosecond lasers, advanced multiphoton microscopy, deep tissue bioimaging, lowered photo-induced damage

Lead Beneficiary (PT): Sphere Ultrafast Photonics, S.A.
International Iberian Nanotechnologies Laboratory (INL)
Universidade do Porto
PIs at UT Austin: Andrew Dunn (College of Natural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Engineering, UT Austin)
Adela Ben-Yakar (Cockrell School of Engineering, Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, UT Austin)
Total Eligible Investment (PT) 1 281 911,16 EUR
Total Eligible Investment (US) 800 000,00 USD
Funding Sources Distribution  

Papers and Communications

  • Maibohm, C., Ferreira, R., Silvestre, O. F., Romero, R., Crespo, H., & Nieder, J. B. (2021). Ultra-broadband few-cycle laser pulses for advanced multi-color FLIM- microscopy. 2021 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe & European Quantum Electronics Conference.


2020 Annual Conference

2021 Annual Conference

Co-funded by: