Exceptional NIR-excitable label particles: absorption of several sequential NIR photons is followed by emission of only one high-energy photon at visible or NIR wavelengths.

Bright and photostable particles

Upcon™ is a comprehensive concept built around a novel label technology known as photon upconversion. In this unique technology, upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) convert near-infrared (NIR) radiation to visible light via a unique process that enables the photoluminescence to be measured entirely free of autofluorescence and scattered excitation light.

The UCNPs provide several advantages over traditional labels like conventional fluorophores or quantum dots.



The Upcon™ concept is intended for companies and research institutions working in the life science field.

The concept includes both the upconverting nanoparticles and a first-of-its-kind microplate reader.

The Upcon™-particles are available either as ”ready-to-use” labels with streptavidin coupling, or with an amine reactive surface for use in your specific application.




Upconversion process of NaYF4 nanoparticles doped with ytterbium and erbium. Video courtesy of Andrew Mueller and Molecular Founry at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Low-background applications

The key to the Upcon-technology is the small (Ø ~35 nm) upconverting nanoparticles.

These inorganic nanocrystals are doped with lanthanide ions that provide the favorable properties of stable and bright emission, discrete emission bands and long emission lifetime.

Due to the NIR-excitation, the autofluorescence in biological samples is totally eliminated, and the particles are detectable through tissue and even in whole blood.

An affordable laser diode is sufficient for excitation purposes allowing a simple readout system. A minute amount of Upcon™ particles is detectable due to their highly intense emission and the eliminated background fluorescence from other sources.

Examples of application areas

Diagnostics and bioanalytics:

  • Bioaffinity assays
  • Lateral flow tests
  • Sensors

Imaging & microscopy:

  • In vitro
  • In vivo
  • In situ


  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Drug delivery
Upcon™ Reader
  • Measures plate formats up to 1536 well plate
  • Shaking and temperature control
  • Flexible platform for assay development
  • Other detection technologies available to the same platform
  • Upcon™
  • Luminescence
  • Absorbance
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescence Polarisation
  • Anti-Stokes measurements with Upcon™
  • Laser based excitation
  • Photon counting detection
  • < pM detection limit
POC use
  • Miniaturizable measurement system
  • Cost efficient design
  • Inbuilt temperature control and calibration
  • Custom service for your assay needs

The first commercial UCNP reader

Part of the Upcon™ concept is the first commercial microplate reader dedicated for use with UCNPs.

This compact, easy-to-use and robust instrument brings the great benefits of the technology not just to reasearch laboratories but also to point-of-care applications.

Unique concept

Upcon™ is a first-of-a-kind complete solution for utilizing upconversion technology. It offers high sensitivity and great performance where you need it.

If you are just starting to build your next success story, let us help to develop it with you.



  • Low background due to the elimination of autofluorescence
  • Bright luminescence with discrete emission bands
  • No photobleaching or self-quenching
  • Biocompatible
  • Detectable through tissue and in whole blood
  • Particle manufacturing will be done according to ISO 13485


Upcon™ is a trademark of Kaivogen Oy, Finland and Labrox Oy, Finland

Contact us

Upcon™ upconverting nanoparticle system is a joint venture by two life science companies operating at Turku Science Park, Finland. The reader has been developed by Labrox Oy and the chemistry by Kaivogen Oy.

Kaivogen produces components for immunoassays, from coated microplates to labels needed for detection. The company was founded 2007.

Labrox develops multi-mode readers used with microplates and produces custom components for e.g. POC devices. The company has operated since 2011.


Kaivogen Oy                                  linkedin-recruiters-connection
Tykistökatu 4 D 2nd floor
Tel. +358 44 584 5062

Labrox Oy                                       linkedin-recruiters-connectionTwitter
Vajossuonkatu 3B
Tel. +358 50 372 3080