The Netherlands


A tissue specimen taken from a patient by a biopsy or an operation is usually assessed by the pathologist on the following day, after the specimen is adequately fixed in formalin (permanent section). However, occasionally surgeons need pathological information more urgently. They will request for a frozen section. The quality of the information of the frozen section is inferior to the permanent section, but it will take 40 minutes to prepare the specimen and return the conclusion to the surgeon. Creating frozen sections is labour intensive and still takes a lot of time. Besides that, pathology laboratories are becoming more and more centralized. There is a need to assess the  specimens in a fast, non-labour intensive way.


Using the Flash Pathology scanner, the resection planes of the specimen can be examined in the operating theatre, preventing revision surgeries and unnecessary biopsies


The Flash Pathology scanner enables imaging of the surface of a specimen within seconds, without tissue preparation. Cell structures can be visualized, to distinguish healthy tissue from tumor tissue. The images can be sent digitally to the pathologists in a fast and non-labour intensive way. Because of this, specimens can be examined in the operating theatre, preventing revision surgeries and unnecessary biopsies.


A prototype is available, which successfully distinguished glioma infiltration, breast cancer and lung cancer from healthy tissue in human specimens. Next steps are to create custom developed parts to improve supply chain and obtain the CE mark.

Meet the team


Ton Tijn Hulleman



Frank van Mourik

Venture Partner

Willem Fontijn

Willem Fontijn

Technology Strategist

Willem joined NLC in August 2017. He is responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of NLC at an operational and strategic level, guarding the quality of inflow and driving supporting technologies. Willem holds a PhD from the Eindhoven University of Technology, is an IP expert, and has corporate and venturing experience. He is a principal scientist and prolific inventor at Philips Research turned serial entrepreneur.