University College Cork

  • Ivica Cubic profile
    Ivica Cubic
    13 September 2017 - updated 3 years ago
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We develop new ways to ‘see’ different cells in the body. Great opportunities exist to tackle major world diseases such as infectious diseases and cancer, through development of new diagnostics and vaccines. But to develop such treatments, we need better ways to ‘see’ various elements involved. We are solving this problem through development of a new, simple and cheap platform of visualising many types of molecules from bacterial or human cells, to accelerate the development of medicines, or for use in novel diagnostics.

About the Innovator


UCC group

We develop new tools to visualise various molecules in the body. There exists an urgent need to advance methods for detection of various molecules, primarily for diagnosis and R&D of therapeutics for infectious diseases. Optical Imaging (OI) modalities are based on the detection and quantification of light from living subjects, and represent powerful yet cost-efficient and convenient systems. However, suitable tools are severely lacking. We develop novel biological methods to exploit OI to ‘see’ specific cells inside or outside the body.

What is the innovation

We have developed novel platforms and reagents that enable optical imaging of a range of molecules, to a degree that was previously not possible. These imaging platforms remove barriers that have prevented potential users of OI from exploiting this technology in the past. R&D has been designed to clearly demonstrate the practicality and efficacy of the technology, and functioning prototypes exist.

Out of the lab – Into the Market

The addressable imaging market is rapidly expanding, but is limited by the availability of biological imaging tools. The commercial development of our envisaged products is attractive - the development cycle is short, development costs are low, and regulatory requirements are minimal. Subsequent product development has already been mapped out and initiated, and involves a new startup company and furthering partnerships with relevant established companies to facilitate licences, production or distribution.

Benefits of participation in the Framework Programme

The Framework Programme enabled the team to establish concrete, long-term collaborative links with a number of key commercial and large industrial players in this market sector. The multidimensinal aspects of the EU-funded VIP project consortium facilitated the team to attract world leading scientists to come on board as collaborators, advisors and enablers, to progress the innovation towards commercial reality. Further, future partnerships are in advanced stages of planning.