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.

Fluorescent soft beads passing through the narrowing channels of a biochip. Photo: MPZPM, Salvatore Girardo

Efficiently smuggling drugs into cells

A new, patented method called Progressive Mechanoporation makes it possible to mechanically disrupt the membranes of cells for a short time period and...

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Jona Kayser

Emmy Noether Group for Jona Kayser

Millions for cancer research: Jona Kayser, junior group leader in the Biological Optomechanics Division at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of...

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Representative microscopic images of different cells obtained with RAPID

Fast and efficient diagnoses through artificial intelligence

The mechanical properties of cells can reveal which diseases a patient is suffering from. Researchers at the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin...

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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...

Quantitative imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae during cryptobiotic transition using optical diffraction tomography

Kyoohyun Kim, Vamshidhar Gade, Teymuras V. Kurzchalia, Jochen Guck

bioRxiv:10.1101/2021.04.26.441445 (2021) Preprint | PDF

Portable Optical Coherence Elastography System With Flexible and Phase Stable Common Path Optical Fiber Probe

Asha Parmar, Gargi Sharma, Shivani Sharma, Kanwarpal Singh

IEEE Access 9 56041-56048 (2021) | Journal | PDF

The Xenopus spindle is as dense as the surrounding cytoplasm

Abin Biswas, Kyoohyun Kim, Gheorghe Cojoc, Jochen Guck, Simone Reber

Developmental Cell 56(7) 967-975 (2021) | Journal


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

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.

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