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.


Microscopy of a nucleus: Transcription factories are colored orange, activated genes light blue. The nucleus has about one tenth of the thickness of a human hair.

How cells specifically activate genes

It is essential for cells to control precisely which of the many genes of their genetic material they use. This is done in so-called transcription...

Read more
An artistic interpretation of magnetic tweezers. Illustration: MPZPM / Susanne Viezens

Corona: Using magnetic tweezers to track down new antiviral drugs against Covid-19

How can SARS-CoV-2 be stopped? David Dulin and his team at the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen have investigated how the virus...

Read more
Biochip for real-time deformability cytometry. Foto: MPL

Federal Ministry of Research funds drug trial against Long COVID in Erlangen

The BMBF is providing 1.2 million Euros for the reCOVer project. This will enable a research team from the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin...

Read more

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...

Mechanosensing

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

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...

Real-Time Deformability Cytometry Detects Leukocyte Stiffening After Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agent Exposure

Angela Jacobi, Angela Ariza de Schellenberger, Yavuz Oguz Uca, Maik Herbig, Jochen Guck, Ingolf Sack

Investigative Radiology 56(12) 837-844 (2021) | Journal

Passive coupling of membrane tension and cell volume during active response of cells to osmosis

Chloé Roffay, Guillaume Molinard, Kyoohyun Kim, Marta Urbanska, Virginia Andrade, Victoria Barbarasa, Paulina Nowak, Vincent Mercier, José García-Calvo, et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118(47) e2103228118 (2021) | Journal | PDF

Mapping Tumor Spheroid Mechanics in Dependence of 3D Microenvironment Stiffness and Degradability by Brillouin Microscopy

Vaibhav Mahajan, Timon Beck, Paulina Gregorczyk, André Ruland, Simon Alberti, Jochen Guck, Carsten Werner, Raimund Schlüßler, Anna V. Taubenberger

Cancers / Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI) 13(21) 5549 (2021) | Journal | PDF

Contact

For all general inquiries, please contact us at:

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

guck-office@mpl.mpg.de

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

The Max Planck Institute is located right next to the Science Campus of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, on its northern edge. See the information page on how to find us.

MPL Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with MPL’s latest research via our Newsletter. 

Current issue: Newsletter No 16 - February 2021

Click here to view previous issues.

MPL Research Centers and Schools