Ultrafast oscillating blade microtome


We are dedicated to developing ultrafast oscillating blade microtome for precision tissue sectioning. The new microtome enables the precise sectioning of various ultrasoft tissues that are hard to process before. This technology has been licensed by CUHK academic-led start-up Precision Cut Limited.

  • Ultrafast oscillating blade microtome 0
  • Ultrafast oscillating blade microtome 1
Research completion
Commercialisation opportunities
technology licensing agreement
Problem addressed

Besides standard biological specimen preparation method, there are emerging tissue processing techniques for better 3D imaging quality. These methods usually soften the processed tissues (versus fixed samples), making them more difficult to be sectioned via conventional microtomes. The development of these new imaging techniques necessitates the development of a new class of microtome to slice ultrasoft tissues or organs into thin sections with high precision.

  • These existing problems can be addressed with better understanding on tissue cutting mechanism and involving design concepts of precision instrument and vibration theory. We proposed the new design to make microtome blade oscilate above 300Hz to fully utilize the viscoelasticity of soft tissue.
  • We developed a active vibration controller to make the new micrtome work above 300 Hz and reject unbalanced vibration force.
Key impact
  • The new microtome that is capable of operating beyond 300 Hz with less than 1 micron parasitic blade motion. This method works because at high operating speed, tissues are self-stiffened due to their viscoelastic property, which results in substantially improved tissue sectioning quality.
  • The new microtome provides top quality in tissue sectioning. The new microtome addresses the critical issues in many emerging imaging and biological applications, such as high-throughput super-resolution imaging and tumor slice drug screening.
  • Gold Medal in 2022 Special Edition of the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions
  • Second Prize in Start-up Group of The 8th Hong Kong University Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Champion of CUHK Entrepreneurship Competition 2022
  • Silver Medal of The 8th China International College Students’ “Internet+” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Gold medal in International Invention Fair in the Middle East 2023 (IIFME)
  • The new microtome now enables the automatic sectioning and 3D mapping of a human brain when integrated with microscopic system.
  • During sectioning process, our microtome minimizes cellular damage and maintains high cell viability even at the sectioned surface, which enable new applications such as drug screening based on these in vitro cultured tumor slice.


  • U.S. Patent No.: 10,603,688
  • U.S. Patent Application No.: 17/072,504
  • U.S. Patent No.: 10,884,250
  • U.S. Patent No.: 10,211,024
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Founded in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a forward-looking comprehensive research university with a global vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West. CUHK teachers and students hail from all around the world. Four Nobel laureates are associated with the university, and it is the only tertiary institution in Hong Kong with recipients of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal and Veblen Prize sitting as faculty in residence. CUHK graduates are connected worldwide through an extensive alumni network. CUHK undertakes a wide range of research programmes in many subject areas, and strives to provide scope for all academic staff to undertake consultancy and collaborative projects with industry.