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Join Dr Robert Prevedel from EMBL Heidelberg for a Force Talk entitled "Visualizing mechanical properties in biology using Brillouin microscopy".


Across spatial scales, the mechanical properties of cells and tissues are important since they play intricate roles in determining biological function. However, standard techniques currently used to assess them exhibit intrinsic limitations. Here, an emerging technique is Brillouin microscopy: by exploiting the interaction of light with spontaneous acoustic waves intrinsically present in any sample, Brillouin microscopy (BM) enables assessment of mechanical properties in a 3D, all-optical and hence non-contact fashion. In this seminar, I will I will briefly introduce and review this emerging field before discussing various applications in biology and present our efforts to optimise the technique for fast and high-resolution live-imaging of dynamic biological processes with low-phototoxicity. In particular, by combining a line-scanning BM with a fluorescence light-sheet, we could visualise tissue-specific mechanical properties over space and time in developing model organisms such as Drosophila, Phallusia, and mouse embryos.

Photo of Dr Robert Prevedel


Robert Prevedel is a group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg (Germany). His primary research interest lies in developing advanced and innovative optical techniques for biomedical imaging, such as multi-photon and light field-microscopy, photo-acoustics or Brillouin spectroscopy. Robert holds a PhD in experimental physics from the University of Vienna (Austria) for which he developed new approaches for optical quantum computing. During his postdoctoral years, first at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and later at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna (Austria), Robert worked on innovative optical methods and tools for imaging in biology, with a focus on functional neuroimaging in small model organisms.

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At this event

Sergi  Garcia-Manyes

Professor of Biophysics