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…
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…
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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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...
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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Shear rheology of methyl cellulose based solutions for cell mechanical measurements at high shear rates
Beyza Büyükurganci, Santanu Kumar Basu, Markus Neuner, Jochen Guck, Andreas Wierschem, Felix Reichel
Methyl cellulose (MC) is a widely used material in various microfluidic applications in biology. Due to its biocompatibility, it has become a popular crowding agent for microfluidic cell deformability measurements, which usually operate at high shear rates (>10 000 s−1). However, a full rheological characterization of methyl cellulose solutions under these conditions has not yet been reported. With this study, we provide a full shear-rheological description for solutions of up to 1% MC dissolved in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) that are commonly used in real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC). We characterized three different MC-PBS solutions used for cell mechanical measurements in RT-DC with three different shear rheometer setups to cover a range of shear rates from 0.1–150 000 s−1. We report viscosities and normal stress differences in this regime. Viscosity functions can be well described using a Carreau–Yasuda model. Furthermore, we present the temperature dependency of shear viscosity and first normal stress difference of these solutions. Our results show that methyl cellulose solutions behave like power-law liquids in viscosity and exhibit first normal stress difference at shear rates between 5000–150 000 s−1. We construct a general viscosity equation for each MC solution at a certain shear rate and temperature. Furthermore, we investigated how MC concentration influences the rheology of the solutions and found the entanglement concentration at around 0.64 w/w%. Our results help to better understand the viscoelastic behavior of MC solutions, which can now be considered when modelling stresses in microfluidic channels.
Embracing the diversity of model systems to deconstruct the basis of regeneration and tissue repair
Aldine Amiel, Stephanie Tsai, Daniel Wehner
Development 150(3) dev.201579 (2023) | Journal
The eighth EMBO conference in the series ‘The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Regeneration and Tissue Repair’ took place in Barcelona (Spain) in September 2022. A total of 173 researchers from across the globe shared their latest advances in deciphering the molecular and cellular basis of wound healing, tissue repair and<br>regeneration, as well as their implications for future clinical applications. The conference showcased an ever-expanding diversity of model organisms used to identify mechanisms that promote regeneration. Over 25 species were discussed, ranging from invertebrates to humans. Here, we provide an overview of the exciting topics presented at the conference, highlighting novel discoveries in regeneration and perspectives for regenerative medicine.
Image-based cell sorting using focused travelling surface acoustic waves
Ahmad Ahsan Nawaz, Despina Soteriou, Catherine Xu, Ruchi Goswami, Maik Herbig, Jochen Guck, Salvatore Girardo
Sorting cells is an essential primary step in many biological and clinical applications such as high-throughput drug screening, cancer research and cell transplantation. Cell sorting based on their mechanical properties has long been considered as a promising label-free biomarker that could revolutionize the isolation of cells from heterogeneous populations. Recent advances in microfluidic image-based cell analysis combined with subsequent label-free sorting by on-chip actuators demonstrated the possibility of sorting cells based on their physical properties. However, the high purity of sorting is achieved at the expense of a sorting rate that lags behind the analysis throughput. Furthermore, stable and reliable system operation is an important feature in enabling the sorting of small cell fractions from a concentrated heterogeneous population. Here, we present a label-free cell sorting method, based on the use of focused travelling surface acoustic wave (FTSAW) in combination with real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC). We demonstrate the flexibility and applicability of the method by sorting distinct blood cell types, cell lines and particles based on different physical parameters. Finally, we present a new strategy to sort cells based on their mechanical properties. Our system enables the sorting of up to 400 particles per s. Sorting is therefore possible at high cell concentrations (up to 36 million per ml) while retaining high purity (>92%) for cells with diverse sizes and mechanical properties moving in a highly viscous buffer. Sorting of small cell fraction from a heterogeneous population prepared by processing of small sample volume (10 μl) is also possible and here demonstrated by the 667-fold enrichment of white blood cells (WBCs) from raw diluted whole blood in a continuous 10-hour sorting experiment. The real-time analysis of multiple parameters together with the high sensitivity and high-throughput of our method thus enables new biological and therapeutic applications in the future.
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