CellVista SLIM Pro

Highest resolution quantitative phase microscope. Ever.

CellVista SLIM

CellVista SLIM Pro
Highest resolution quantitative phase microscope. Ever.
Phi Optics

Phi Optics, Inc. is an optical microscopy company that empowers researchers to explore deeper, discover more, and ultimately cure better! Phi Optics introduces a novel technology – Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (SLIM) – that provides label-free, quantitative, and real-time imaging of live cells and tissues. SLIM is an add-on to all major brand optical microscopes and seamlessly overlays with fluorescence for multichannel imaging.

09-29-2017|APPLICATION NEWS: Phi Optics GLIM was used in a multi-center study to monitor the formation of 3D mesostructures as high-temperature growth templates, electronic cellular scaffolds, and self-propelled microrobots. GLIM's ability to supress multiple scattering contributions provided the researchers with high contrast 3D tomographic images of optically thick structures.

09-29-2017|APPLICATION NEWS: Phi Optics SLIM was used to measure the diameter and axonal mass transport in study of axon contractility in in vivo embryonic drosophila. The study reveals a mechanism for axons to control their diameter in various neuronal disorders.

08-16-2017|APPLICATION NEWS: Scientists from UIUC and KTH Royal Institute of Technology use Phi Optics GLIM to study the interaction between cells and 3D-hydrogel scaffolds. The study tracked the cell growth, migration guidance and formation of a complex cellular system—organotypic primary murine dorsal root ganglion (DRG)—in culture in the scaffolds.

08-8-2017|Technology News: Gradient Light Interference Microscopy reveals internal structure of live embryos.

06-28-2017|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics demo at the Allen Institute for Cellular Science to help uncover the real life of cells.

05-18-2017|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics SLIM Demo at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute.

05-4-2017|Technology News: Quantitative Phase Imaging, an integral development in light microscopy: SLIM accurately measures live cells in 4D with less power.

04-27-2017|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics SLIM Demo at University of Illinois at Chicago - College of Medicine.

04-9-2017|EXHIBITS: Come visit us at booth #11 at Focus on Microscopy Exhibit in Bordeaux, France. April 9-12.

03-16-2017|APPLICATION NEWS: Phi Optics SLIM combined with dispersion-relation phase spectroscopy (DPS) is used to study the 3D transport of mass inside neuron bodies and neurites as a function of time and without fluorescence tags.

03-8-2017|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics SLIM Demo at University of California - Davis.

02-13-2017|EXHIBITS: Come visit us at booth #255 at BioPhysics exhibit, February 13-14, New Orleans, Louisiana.

01-28-2017|EXHIBITS: Come see us at booth #8937 at SPIE BiOS Expo - Photonics West.

01-17-2017|APPLICATION NEWS: UIUC researchers use SLIM to measure microtubules and understand the molecular motor activity over large time scales, without fluorescence tags.

12-1-2016|Technology News: SLIM is a unique cell imaging method that can represent biology’s future.

10-26-2016|Technology News: Time-lapse cell imaging with SLIM reveals dynamic activity, University of Illinois

3-13-2016|PRESS: Check out the startup stories from our COO! Wired In: Catalin Chiritescu

2-13-2016|EXHIBITS: Visit us at booth #8847 Moscone West in SPIE Photonics West/BiOS conference!

12-15-2015|EXHIBITS: Visit us at booth 643 at ASCB Annual Meeting 2015 in San Diego

11-04-2015|PRESS: New optical method promises more accurate diagnosis and prognosis for cancer patients, University of Illinois

10-23-2015|EXHIBITS: Visit us at the New Approaches in Light Microscopy Workshop at Harvard University, November 17-19, 2015

08-12-2015|EXHIBITS:Come visit us at the Neuroscience 2015 vendor exhibit, October 17-21, Chicago IL. Phi Optics will have a live demo of the CellVista SLIM PRO system for automated 3D live cells and tissues imaging at Booth #565.

06-01-2015|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is proud to be an @NSFInnovateSBIR recipient. Find out if @NSF can help you, too.

05-15-2015|APPLICATION NEWS: In a recent study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Agilent Technologies, researchers at Beckman Institute employed QPI-SLIM as a new method for screening prostate cancer recurrence. The results indicate that "SLIM has excellent potential to add value to the existing methods available to pathologists and improve the accuracy of prognosis". The findings are also featured on the NSF Engineering Directorate News.

03-17-2015|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics@Janelia Farms Research Institute - join us for a live demo of the CellVista SLIM PRO system for automated 3D live cells and tissues imaging, March 18-20, 2015. Contact usfor more informations.

02-15-2015|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is featured in the February 2015 issue of Central Illinois Business Magazine. The publication highlights businesses and business events in Central Illinois area.

02-01-2015|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics officially launches its CellVista SLIM PRO system for automated 3D live cells and tissues imaging at SPIE BiOS 2015, February 7-8 in San Francisco, CA. You can find us at Booth 8614 in South Hall A, Moscone Exhibition Center. Come and see what our new system can do to speed up your research!

01-20-2015|EXHIBITS: Phi Optics@NIH Bethesda - join us for a live demo of the CellVista SLIM PRO system for automated 3D live cells and tissues imaging, January 21-23, 2015. Contact usfor more informations.

12-06-2014|EXHIBITS:Come visit us at the 2014 Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) vendor exhibit, December 6-10, Philadelphia, PA. Phi Optics will have a live demo of the CellVista SLIM BASIC system at Booth #240, with our distributors Axiom Optics.

11-15-2014|EXHIBITS:Come visit us at the Neuroscience 2014 vendor exhibit, November 15-19, Washington DC. Phi Optics will have a live demo of the CellVista SLIM BASIC system at Booth #2315.

11-07-2014|COMPANY NEWS:Phi Optics's presence at BIO 2014 is featured in the BIOtechNOW, the news forum for the Biotech Industry Organization (BIO).

09-05-2014|APPLICATION NEWS:A quantitative study of red blood cells shows that banked blood grows stiffer with age. The study is published in Nature Scientific Reports and is featured in a University of Illinois News Bureau report. Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) was used to image the membrane of red blood cells with nanometer sensitivity. The research can lead to a clinical instrument for blood quality analysis based on QPI.

07-22-2014|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is featured in the 2014 ELEVATE Annual Report (PDF, pp. 12) from the University of Illinois Office of the Vice President for Research. This publication illustrates the University’s innovation pipeline and highlights successful University startups.

07-11-2014|TECHNOLOGY NEWS: 3D imaging of live cells via Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) is featured in the Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging section of SPIE Newsroom.

06-20-2014|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics participates in the vendor exhibit of the Microscience Microscopy Congress 2014 (MMC2014) in Manchester, UK, July 1-3 2014, organized by the Royal Microscopical Society. The Conference will run side-by-side with Europe's largest exhibition of microscopy and imaging equipment - find us at stand 901 with our exclusive distributors for UK and Ireland, Photons Lines Ltd

06-03-2014|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics has been invited to display in the NSF-NIH Innovation Zone at this year's world’s largest biotechnology gathering 2014 BIO International Convention, June 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Visit us in the Innovation Zone at Booth 5449, Kiosk 38.

04-07-2014|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics has been awarded a NSF SBIR Phase II grant to develop a commercial automated optical system for live cells and tissues imaging.

03-28-2014|APPLICATION NEWS:Prof. Gabriel Popescu research on label-free and quantitative neuron imaging using QPI is featured in NBC Science News.

02-27-2014|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is featured in the local News Gazette with an article about the technology and our CellVista SLIM BASIC system

02-20-2014|APPLICATION NEWS: The QLI Lab at UIUC announces their latest research applications of QPI-SLIM in label-free monitoring of breast cancer cell growth, life cycles, and responses to drugs. The research is published in PLOS ONE

02-01-2014|PRODUCT NEWS: Phi Optics officially launches its CellVista SLIM BASIC system for live cells and tissues imaging at SPIE BiOS 2014, February 1-2 in San Francisco, CA. You can find us at Booth 8232 in South Hall A, Moscone Exhibition Center

01-29-2014|PRODUCT NEWS: Phi Optics participates in the 11th annual Advanced Imaging Methods Workshop (AIM) at University of California - Berkeley. The event is hosted by the Molecular Imaging Center at UC Berkeley. Phi Optics will have an advance demo of our CellVista SLIM BASIC system for display at the workshop.

01-13-2014|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is nominated for the Entrepreneurial Excellence - New Venture Award at the 2014 annual Innovation Celebration. The event recognizes entrepreneurship and technological innovation in Champaign County

05-16-2013|COMPANY NEWS: Serra Ventures leads a successful Series Seed funding round on behalf of Phi Optics.

11-14-2012|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is awarded a $150,000 NSF SBIR Phase I grant that will start in Q1 FY2013.

03-05-2012|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is selected to participate in the Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps), a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research. The March 2012 cohort consists of 24 teams selected nationally by a group lead by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, founder of the Lean LaunchPad. Highlights of the program have been featured in Nature, The Economist and Forbes.

11-29-2011|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics is accepted in the The I-Start Entrepreneur Assistance Program administered by UIUC Research Park EnterpriseWorks Incubator. The I-Start is a new entrepreneur kick-start program targeted to University of Illinois researchers that have a strong potential for technology commercialization through new company formation.

11-18-2011|COMPANY NEWS: Phi Optics engages Serra Ventures, LLC, a professional business advisory firm specialized on early stage and emerging high technology companies.

Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (SLIM)


Phi Optics SLIM quantitatively measures dry mass, height and refractive index of live samples


SLIM provides a label-free imaging method for live cells, free from phototoxicity or photobleaching


SLIM records as fast as 15 fps at full camera frame (5.5 megapixels) and displays them real-time


SLIM is compatible with most major brand microscopes and overlays with all other channels

Introducing CellVista SLIM Pro

Check out our new video introducing Phi Optics CellVista SLIM Pro!

QPI of unlabeled live cells

The microscope’s incubation system and the minimal light damage from the white-light source make Phi Optics SLIM a perfect imaging system for studying unlabeled live cells as they function and grow.

Easy fluorescence overlay

Phi Optics SLIM shares the same optical pathway with all the other microscopy channels. Therefore, simultaneous measurements of SLIM and fluorescence microscopy can be easily performed. The resulting images also show the exact same field of view for easy overlay

3D tomography of live cells

Phi Optics SLIM helps you look inside the cell in 3D without staining. Combined with the live cell imaging capacity, SLIM now allows for a dynamic imaging of live cells in 3D.

Automated slide scanning

Phi Optics SLIM and CellVista software perfectly integrates into your existing microscope and create an environment for automatic slide scanning. Large field-of-view scan of live samples and slide scanning of tissue biopsies are made simple and easy.

Selected publications

cell growth

M. Mir, et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108 (32), 13124 (2011)

tissue scanning

S. Sridharan, et al., Scientific Reports,  5, 9976 (2015)


T. Kim, et al., Nature Photonics, 8, 256-263 (2014)