Welcome to the website of Biological Optomechanics Division

Cells are the basic entities of biological systems. They have particular physical properties, which enable them to navigate their 3D physical environment and fulfill their biological functions. We investigate these physical – mechanical and optical – properties of living cells and tissues using novel photonics and biophysical tools to test their biological importance. Our ultimate goal is the transfer of our findings to medical application in the fields of improved diagnosis of diseases and novel approaches in regenerative medicine.

Little noticed, but of enormous influence: Tissue mechanics affect the growth and metastasis of cancer

The first awardee of the Rosalind Franklin Scientist-in-Residence (RFSR) Program of the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin (MPZPM), Claudia…

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Marta Urbańska, former PhD student of Professor Guck, awarded with Dresden Physics 2022 Doctoral Award

On Jan. 31, 2023, the Physics Faculty of the Technical University (TU) of Dresden awarded two female scientists with the Dresden Physics 2022 Doctoral…

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What is physics doing in medicine? - Presentation of the new Max-Planck-Zentrum

Why is it a good idea for physicists to work on medical issues? Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light…

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Get all Research Information here.

Cell Mechanics

Mechanical properties of cells are very often connected to their state and function. They can thus serve as an intrinsic biophysical marker of cell state transitions, such as metastasis of cancer cells, activation of leukocytes, or progression through the cell cycle. Read More...


Cells actively sense and respond to a variety of mechanical signals — a process known as mechanosensing. Mechanical cues provided by the extracellular environment can modulate a wide spectrum of cellular events, including cell proliferation, differentiation and protein production. Read More...

Tissue Mechanics

Cells define and largely form their surrounding tissues and, in return, receive biochemical and physical cues from them. We are working on resolving this interdependence by quantifying these tissue mechanical properties, correlating them with biological function, investigating their origin and ultimately controlling them. Read More...


Biophotonics describes the interaction of light with cells and tissues. We are interested in the interaction between light and tissues which is governed by the optical properties of cells. Read More...

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Identification of a Distinct Monocyte-Driven Signature in Systemic Sclerosis Using Biophysical Phenotyping of Circulating Immune Cells

Alexandru-Emil Matei, Markéta Kubánková, Liyan Xu, Andrea-Hermina Györfi, Evgenia Boxberger, Despina Soteriou, Maria Papava, Julia Prater, Xuezhi Hong, et al.

Arthritis & Rheumatology 75(5) 768-781 (2023) | Journal | PDF

Dynamics of cell rounding during detachment

Agata Nyga, Katarzyna Plak, Martin Kräter, Marta Urbanska, Kyoohyun Kim, Jochen Guck, Buzz Baum

iScience 106696 (2023) | Journal

Rapid single-cell physical phenotyping of mechanically dissociated tissue biopsies

Despina Soteriou, Markéta Kubánková, Christine Schweitzer, Rocío López-Posadas, Rahmita Pradhan, Oana-Maria Thoma, Andrea-Hermina Györfi, Alexandru-Emil Matei, Maximilian Waldner, et al.

nature biomedical engineering (2023) | Journal | PDF


For all general inquiries, please contact us at:

Guck Division
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Staudtstr. 2
D-91058 Erlangen, Germany


Tel: +49-9131-7133-501
Fax: +49-9131-7133-990

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