EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "High-Throughput Mechanical Phenotyping for In-Vitro Diagnostics"


Event details

Date 20.03.2023
Hour 16:0017:00
Speaker Prof. Jochen Guck, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen (DE)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

The mechanical properties of cells have long been heralded as a useful inherent and sensitive marker of disease. Despite many proof-of-concept demonstrations to this effect, a major roadblock to general application has been a paucity of appropriate tools for the convenient quantification of such properties. This has changed with the recent advent of high-throughput microfluidic techniques. As one such technique, we have introduced real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC) which permits the continuous physical single-cell characterization of large populations (> 100.000 cells) with analysis rates of 1,000 cells/s — approaching that of conventional fluorescence-based flow cytometers. Using RT-DC we can sensitively detect physiological and pathological changes in cell function by image-based parameters such as size, shape, deformability, and any other information contained in an image. For example, we have recently demonstrated its utility for detecting blood mechanical changes in the context of Covid-19, which could be causally involved in the progression of the disease. Combined with quick mechanical dissociation, also tissue biopsies are now accessible for RT-DC to diagnose solid tumors. In general, mechanical phenotyping adds a new functional, marker-free and unbiased dimension to flow cytometry with diverse applications in biology, biotechnology and medicine.

Jochen Guck received his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. After being a group leader at the University of Leipzig, he moved to the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University as a Lecturer in 2007 and was promoted to Reader in 2009. In 2012 he became Professor of Cellular Machines at the Biotechnology Center of the Technische Universität Dresden. As of October 2018 he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light and the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen, Germany, and since August 2020 Professor of Biological Optomechanics in the Physics Department of the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. His research centers on exploring the physical properties of biological cells and tissues, and their importance for cell function and behavior. He also develops novel photonic, microfluidic and scanning-force probe techniques for the study of these optical and mechanical properties. The ultimate goal is utilizing this insight for novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Guck has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and 8 patents. His work has been recognized by several awards, amongst them the Cozzarelli Award by the National Academy of Sciences (USA) in 2008, the Paterson Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics (UK) in 2011, an Alexander-von-Humboldt Professorship in 2012, and the Wilhelm Ostwald Medal by the Saxonian Academy of Sciences in 2022.

Zoom link (with one-time registration for the whole series) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

Instructions for 1st-year Ph.D. students who are under EDBB’s mandatory seminar attendance rule:
IF you are not attending in-person in the room, please make sure to
  1. send D. Reinhard a note before noon on seminar day, informing that you plan to attend the talk online, and
  2. be signed in on Zoom with a recognizable user name (not a pseudonym making it difficult or impossible to be identified).
Students attending the seminar in-person should collect a confirmation signature after the talk - please print your own signature sheet beforehand (71 kB pdf available for download here).


Practical information

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  • Registration required




EPFL BioE talks