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.

Researchers discover: This is how microtubuli can organize themselves in growing nerve cells

For nerve fibres (neurons) to be able to transport proteins and other crucial materials along their conducting processes (axons), a directional…

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Diagnosis and therapy of ME/CFS: What can we learn from Long Covid?

Objectively measurable parallels between Long Covid and ME/CFS: Bavarian health minister Klaus Holetschek and chair of the Bavarian health committee…

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A look back at the Long Night of Science

As part of the largest science festival in the region, MPL also opened its doors to the general public. More than 1,000 interested people visited the…

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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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Viscoelastic properties of suspended cells measured with shear flow deformation cytometry

Richard Gerum, Elham Mirzahossein, Mar Eroles, Jennifer Elsterer, Astrid Mainka, Andreas Bauer, Selina Sonntag, Alexander Winterl, Johannes Bartl, et al.

eLife 11 e78823 (2022) | Journal | PDF

Quantitative phase imaging through an ultra-thin lensless fiber endoscope

Jiawei Sun, Jiachen Wu, Ruchi Goswami, Salvatore Girardo, Liangcai Cao, Jochen Guck, Nektarios Koukourakis, Jürgen W. Czarske

Light: Science & Applications 11 204 (2022) | Journal | PDF

PNIPAAm microgels with defined network architecture as temperature sensors in optical stretchers

Nicolas Hauck, Timon Beck, Gheorghe Cojoc, Raimund Schlüßler, Saeed Ahmed, Ivan Raguzin, Martin Mayer, Jonas Schubert, Paul Müller, et al.

Materials Advances 3 6179-6190 (2022) | 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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