Light-based innovation for the biosciences

Feeling for cell function with light


Prof Jochen Guck, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light

26th November 2020, 1.00pm, Microsoft Teams

Light microscopy has been a central tool in biology and biomedicine. Clearly, knowing what is where and when in a cell is important information towards understanding how cells function, and ultimately what life is. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that cells are not just spaces where molecules undergo biochemical reactions, but that cells are also physical objects that rely in their function on emerging physical phenomena. Our ability to quantitate and spatially map these emergent physical properties is still lagging behind this realization. We have been developing novel photonic and microfluidic tools to address this paucity. In my presentation, I will introduce techniques such as optical diffraction tomography, Brillouin microscopy as well as real-time deformability cytometry. I will explain which physical properties are being measured, and how these relate to better understanding of cell function, improved disease diagnosis and novel therapeutic options.