The technology underpinning the success of Optics11 Life is based on two key elements: fiber-optical sensing and state-of-the-art mechatronics


The Beginning

A promising technology based on fiber-top sensing lead to the start of Optics11. The company is founded as a university spin-off (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) by experimental physics professor Davide Iannuzzi and entrepreneur Hans Brouwer.


First Prototype

Although the above mentioned technology was very promising, the problems this technology would solve for its potential users were still largely unknown.

The first step was to build a very basic version of a product that would demonstrate the added value of this fiber sensing technology, such that there was a low threshold for potential users to start working with it.

Having the technology in the hands of users at the earliest stage turned out to be very important, and proved very valuable for our optical fiber sensing systems.


Product Launch

Based on the feedback of many users (now turned customers), Optics11 was able to develop multiple product lines in different application fields, that are truly able to solve problems where other technologies can not.



Growing incrementally on an increasing product portfolio and revenue, Optics11 has developed into a team of 18 young and enthusiastic employees.

The team is led by CEO Niek Rijnveld, a mechatronics engineer by education, and CTO Grzegorz Gruca, an electronics engineer who earned his PhD in experimental physics. In addition, the founders of Optics11 are still very much involved on a strategic level.

Currently, the Optics11 team consists of engineers of many disciplines, application specialists and sales engineers.



In April 2016, Value Creation Capital invested in Optics11 through its TechNanoFund. The experienced entrepreneurs of the fund are supporting Optics11 in its growth and development by playing an active role in the Advisory Board, together with the founders.


Open US Office

Optics11 B.V. partnered with Red Box Direct to open up a sales office for the USA market. The new office is located in Boston.


Launch Optics11 Life

As our Life Science and Industrial Sensing product lines aim for such different industries and markets, we launched an individual domain www.optics11life.com to provide more focus for our lifescience clients. All the Industrial Sensing activities remain accessible under www.optics11.com

Optics11 Life: Horizon 2020

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The technology of Optics11 Life is based on two key elements: fiber optic sensing and state-of-the-art mechatronics. This combination allows the company to develop cutting-edge measurement systems which are highly competitive in the life science field.

Fiber-optic sensing technology

Optics11 Life has refined the optical fiber Fabry-Perôt interferometry for force sensing to deliver highly sensitive, affordable and user-friendly devices. As a result, our fiber-optic based force sensors, are providing a unique solution for micro-mechanical analysis of soft and living materials.

Check out this movie on how fiber-optic interferometry is integrated into the Optics11 Life systems.

State-of-the-art mechatronics

To put these sensors to optimal use, Optics11 Life engineers state-of the art mechatronic solutions. This allows our instruments to measure mechanical properties of complex materials with uneven topography in physiological conditions.

Also, Optics11 Life instruments can perform various mechanical measurements, such as static and dynamic indentation, including creepstress-relaxation and DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis). Furthermore, load-displacement curves are analyzed to provide Young’s, storage and loss moduli.

Read more on the relevance of doing micro-mechanical analysis in our first blog.


Often some form of imaging modality can be used to make an interpretation of the results from the mechanical analysis. For example, determining the relationship between structure- and stiffness. Optics11 Life is specialized in integrating all essential aspects for the analysis of complex biomaterials.

The Pavone, our latest product, integrates optical imaging, micro-mechanical characterization and cell culture incubation.

All instruments developed by Optics11 are designed with the end user in mind, resulting in easy to use and purpose-driven instruments. We love making cutting-edge technology fit for use!