New advanced chemical imaging research infrastructure to Finland

Advanced chemical imaging research infrastructure received 1.6 million euros in funding from the Academy of Finland. The research infrastructure partners are the University of Helsinki, the University of Jyväskylä and the LUT University. The new research infrastructure strengthens the collaboration between leading vibrational spectroscopy, imaging and application research groups in Finland.

The Academy of Finland has granted a total of 13 million euros for building and developing national research infrastructures. Among the ten infrastructures that received funding, there were two new ones. One of these new openings is Quantitative chemically-specific imaging infrastructure for material and life sciences (qCSI), which includes the University of Helsinki, the University of Jyväskylä and LUT University. At the University of Helsinki, three faculties are involved in the opening: Pharmacy, Science (Chemistry Department) and Medicine.

The Academy of Finland provides funding for the acquisition and establishment of nationally significant research infrastructures that promote high-quality scientific research and for strengthening and expanding existing services. The qCSI infrastructure will be a world-class infrastructure for advanced vibrational spectroscopic imaging. The imaging infrastructure will be used for various types of applications in the material and life sciences, involving pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials, foods, cells and tissues. The qCSI infrastructure will open up completely new avenues of research for advanced chemical imaging in Finland.

“This funding allows us to develop an internationally unique infrastructure for Finnish and international researchers interested in high-resolution molecular-level imaging of complex systems. We will establish two new open-access vibrational spectroscopic imaging instruments: fast multiplex coherent Raman and near-field infrared, and integrate them with an advanced spectral data processing and analysis platform. A real strength is the synergistic expertise of the partners in spectroscopy, imaging, data analysis and application disciplines, such as pharmacy, medicine and materials science” explains Head of qCSI infrastructure professor Clare Strachan from the University of Helsinki.

“With this funding, we are able to extend the spatial resolution of spectroscopic and imaging equipment at Laserlab-NSC down to 10 nm. This nanoscale resolution is significant because the characteristic scale for functional biological molecules and electronic devices is on this scale”, tells professor Mika Pettersson from the University of Jyväskylä.

“The funding enables us to develop an open-access spectral data analysis and image generation platform capable of handling large datasets user-friendly and by remote access. This is essential to optimal research outputs with the imaging equipment”, continues professor Erik Vartiainen from the LUT University.

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