• Image Your Samples Anytime & Anywhere

    Smart and Mobile Research Microscopes



  • What We Do

     We're are creating microscopes designed to better fit your modern life.



    Mobile, Digital & Automated

    That's the way microscopes should be

    Consumer electronics has created amazing technologies that allowed designers to create small, smart and easy to use devices that do not cost an arm and a leg. We are adopting the same approach to create research grade microscopes featuring some of the same microtechnologies that will change the way and places you image your samples.


    Software Driven Light Modulation

    Change the illumination mode with the push of a button

    Whether you have samples for bright field or fluorescence imaging, you can seamlessly switch between these imaging modes via software interface.


    For bright field illumination, an spatial light modulator in the transillumination path provides you with the choice of multiple imaging modalities including bright field, differential phase contrast, dark field, 3D tomography, and super-resolution imaging.







    Motorized Focus & Objective Turret

    Always capture sharp images with the perfect magnification

    The motorized focus gives you the choice to find the best focal plane manually, image precise z-stacks, or let the autofocus give you perfect images in time lapse experiments. No more worries about thermal drift.


    The motorized objective turret lets you seamlessly switch between objectives and always lets you know what magnification you are currently using. And your images are automatically annotated with magnification and scale bar so you don't have to use a ruler to manually add scale bars anymore.





    Embedded Computing

    Enjoy a microscope that comes with smarts

    Most microscopes rely entirely on your smarts to do all the chores of imaging. The embedded computer in Zophi makes the microscope your partner and takes over the imaging chores for you. Whether it is adjusting the light intensity to the objective, automatically white balance your image, or focus the image for you, Zophi's smarts will make your imaging a much better experience.






    Browser App & Cloud Support

    Use your favorite device to image your samples

    We all have our favorite computer or mobile device to work with. The browser based imaging app gives you the freedom to choose which ever devices you prefer that day or have available. A browser app will also get you new features as they are developed and without the need for tedious software updates or repeated installations. Just as you are used to from your favorite apps on your phone.




  • Why We Do It

    We believe microscopes can be different



    Holding a laser scanning confocal microscope the size of two rice kernels used for endoscopic imaging was a truly inspiring moment and begged the question whether research microscopes have to be the size they are. It suddenly seemed as if biomedical researchers are using elephants to count ants. Would a squirrel not suffice?








    We believe that compact microscopes can provide research grade imaging performance with the added benefit of significantly lower cost and unprecedented mobility.


    The compact design can be realized with readily available microtechnologies that provide plenty of capability for simple as well at fully automatic and complex imaging the the most widely used sample formats.


    Our ultimate goal is to create research grade microscopes at a fraction of the price and remove the hurdles you face when acquiring an expensive imaging system. After all, would it not be nice if you could buy a scope today without having to write a grant?






  • Who We Are

    We're on a mission to break the rules and make your imaging life easier.

    Robert Schmalzigaug

    PhD | MBA

    Cell Biology & Buisness

    Robert is a biomedical scientist at heart and has used a broad range of microscopes during his time in academia. He acquired valuable technical and business experience as a product manager in the microscopy group at Olympus America before founding the company.

    Guoan Zheng


    Electrical & Optical Engineering

    Guoan is a prolific inventor and has developed numerous hardware and software products to image biological samples faster and at higher resolution. His work on whole slide scanning will contribute to the development of exciting new imaging modalities.  

    Chandran Sabanayagam


    Physics & Molecular Biology

    Chandran has developed small fluorescence microscopes for use at the ISS in space. His experience in microscopy, hardware/software development, and background in physics provide exceptional technical support for our venture.


    Our Custom PCB for the Microscope was chosen as design of the week by Seeedstudio.

    July 16, 2017

    We were excited to hear that our PCB was chosen as the design of the Week by the manufacturer Seeedstudio. We created the custom PCB to clean up our electrical circuits. As space is tight in the microscope, the PCB has an intricate shape to fit around the objective turret and two motor drives. Thanks to Matt Garfield at NextFab for leading the design of the PCB.

    Accepted into NextFab RAPID Accelerator Program

    April 04, 2017

    We were just accepted into the Accelerator program at NextFab in Philadelphia and are excited to have access to the resident expertise and the first direct investment in our company. Over the next 12 weeks, we will polish our prototype and start looking for beta testers. At the same time we will also advance and expand our customer discovery effort to identify early adopters.

    Joined NSF I-Corps Site program

    March 1, 2017

    We just started the I-Corps Site Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation to embark on the customer discovery path and identify the pain points of our projected target customer segments and get feedback on our product concept. Adopting the and practicing the most efficient process will help us way past the program and we are happy to get out of the building and talk to people.

    Delaware Bioscience Center CAT Grant Renewed

    November 1, 2016

    We are pleased to announce the renewal of the CAT grant to advance the development of the prototype microscopes. With this grant, we will be able to finalize the prototype and create several units for field testing and collecting customer feedback. We thank the Delware Bioscience Center for their continued support and look forward to bring the product to the testing stage and hopefully beyond.

    Delaware Bioscience Center CAT Grant Awarded

    October 28, 2015

    We just learned that we received our first grant from the Delaware Bioscience Center for Advanced Technology. This is exciting news as the grant boosts our prototyping capabilities with a 2nd generation 3D printer and access to a talented software student from the computer science department. These two resources will allow us to quickly iterate both the hardware and software parts of the prototype.

    Teaming up with Dr. Chandran Sabanayagam from the

    Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

    August 25, 2015

    We are excited to have Dr. Chandran Sabanayagam from the Delaware Biotechnology Institute at the University of Delaware as a new collaborator. The Sabanayagam Lab is actively developing instruments for astrobiology and space biology researchers. The Zero-gravity On-Orbit Microscope, or ZOOM, is a small and lightweight instrument that can be used for bioimaging on the International Space Station or on a free-flying CubeSat. The prototype microscope features minimal hardware to image biological samples such as single DNA molecules, viruses, bacteria and fluorescent nematodes, literally in the palm of your hand! Dr. Sabanayagam’s experience in designing small, lightweight microscopes is in line with our vision to simplify the microscope design to reduce cost, increase portability, and improve ease of use.

    New collaboration with Dr. Guoan Zheng from the

    University of Connecticut.

    February 18, 2015

    We are excited to have Dr. Guoan Zheng on our team. His technology using LED arrays and liquid crystal displays as spatial light modulators allows imaging of biological samples with various modes of brightfield modalities. By simply changing the illumination pattern, samples can be visualized by brightfield with increasing illumination NA, oblique, differential phase, and darkfield contrast. Scanning a smaller aperture across areas of different size, 3D or superresolution images can be acquired. The superresolution imaging by Fourier ptychography brought Dr. Zheng the Breakthrough in Photonics 2013 award by the IEEE Photonics Journal.