(Source: Emit Imaging)

Emit Imaging is Revolutionizing Fluorescence Imaging in Baltimore and Beyond

In the life science industry there exists a noticeable gap between subcellular/cellular microscopy and whole-body imaging modalities like MRI, PET, and CT. In addition, there is a lack of high-resolution quantitative fluorescent imaging to significantly complement in vivo (animal) studies. 

Enter Emit Imaging, a Baltimore-based startup here to revolutionize the next generation of fluorescence imaging through its flagship technology, XerraTM

XerraTM is based on Cryo-Fluorescence tomography (CFT), an ex vivo molecular tissue imaging technique that allows the high-resolution visualization of cell clusters, isolated organs, and even whole animals. It is based on serial slicing with off-the-block fluorescence imaging, reconstruction, and analysis to provide comprehensive 3D fluorescence and 3D anatomical images from 2D images. 

XerraTM houses a 12MP high-resolution camera, a 10-micron slicer, 6 lasers, 7 interchangeable emission filters, refrigerated storage, and powerful software- all in one platform! Watch how this innovative, groundbreaking technology works through the video below:


Here’s a snapshot of some of the exciting features XerraTM offers:

  • Superior Resolution: Provides resolution down to 20 µm.
  • High Sensitivity: Offers high sensitivity, so you can detect signals deep in tissue.
  • High Throughput: Processes several mice or multiple dissected organs on the same block.
  • Robust: Reduces data variability by combining CFT with in vivo imaging and tissue microscopy from the same animal.
  • Streamlined: No fixation, perfusion, tissue clearing, or radiolabeling required. Maintain complete anatomical context within a single machine.
  • Versatile: Visualization from 470 – 780 nm.

Other commonly-used imaging modalities are capable of only focusing on subcellular structures or generating lower-resolution images of whole bodies or specific regions. In addition to generating 3D images, the Emit Imaging System also allows high-value sample sections to be selectively identified and transferred for additional histology and imaging. 

“EMIT Imaging is about extracting an exponential volume of data from every research sample and animal. We get to see what exists at every layer of imaging- and can we run this throughout the body of the animal,” said Steven Toddes, Chief Technology Officer, in an interview with BioBuzz.

Steven Toddes, Chief Technology Officer at Emit Imaging

XerraTM has many research applications. In cancer biology, the technology allows extensive imaging and characterization of tumor microenvironments and localization during cancer progression and metastasis. In the drug discovery field, it adds a streamlined imaging modality for drug characterization utilizing fluorescent reporters. This technology can provide valuable insight into absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) information and visualize a whole animal in a cost-effective, time-sensitive manner. In addition, specific organs can be analyzed, and further characterization can be extrapolated from a study. 

Many exciting milestones await Emit Imaging. The company regularly collaborates with researchers on projects, and recent publications and conference presentations attest to7789 the application of its technology on a wide breadth of high-quality research. 

The company is currently developing additional software tools to expand the utility and application of XerraTM and has several other projects in the pipeline. In addition to the US, the system has also already been adopted internationally in several leading institutions and one biotech company. These numbers are expected to increase exponentially over the next few years. 

Emit Imaging was founded in 2018 and has origins in Boston, but the company has since relocated to Baltimore. It is currently housed in the University of Maryland BioPark, making it a new and valued member of the BioHealth Capital Region. 

 “Setting up the company in Baltimore has been really smooth, especially considering that we moved during the pandemic,” said Steven. “Unlike other startups I had conversations with, we found our physical space [at BioPark] pretty easy. One of the best parts of this transition is how welcoming the Baltimore community is. There is a ‘we are in this together’ kind of positive attitude, which is tremendously valuable for startups like us.”

Emit Imaging is one of the numerous startups that have relocated or have been founded in the BioHealth Capital Region in recent years. This is in part due to BHCR’s success in providing extensive resources and support for companies in their funding, growth and product launches. As part of our mission at BioBuzz, we are excited to profile these companies such as Emit Imaging and we look forward to supporting and collaborating with them.