Our main research focuses on understanding the mechanical properties of molecules, cells and tissue and their impact on biological function in the area of cardiovascular physiology and pathology. Specifically, we are interested in the development of high-throughput measurement techniques that allow for a non-invasive and label-free assessment of cell state and function. This is of high importance in areas where molecular or biochemical labels are not available or not wanted, e.g. in regenerative therapies. To achieve this goal, we are combining concepts from optics, hydrodynamics and video microscopy.
Dr. Oliver Otto is our supreme leader and co-inventor of the RT-DC technique. He is a trained physicist with a passion for biology. In his spare time he likes pumping his bicycle, and running 10K just because he can. Beware, he is super friendly and likes cookies.
Peter is a physicist and a great local brew. When he is not recovering from volleyball injuries, he is volunteering in organizing the cultural activities of the Greifswald shipyard museum. Peter has been involved in several biophysics-related projects and he is now helping to bring the RT-DC technology to next level
Ricardo H. Pires
Ricardo is a microbiologist trained in biochemistry, who developed a passion for biological mechanics ever since he begun stretching proteins - and now he leveled up to cells! In the evenings you might spot Ricardo trying to train his cat to guard his house (progress report anxiously awaited).
PhD Student "Extraordinaire"
Bob is an electrical engineering graduate that came across biology as part of an optics project. To understand biology further is now his life quest, and he comes with full gear. He is a great cook, baker, and has unusual powers of fixing broken things. Some think he is half man, half machine.
PhD Student "Magnus"
Muzaffar is our resident computer scientist that has an interest in cells and fluidic systems. While working in fundamental problems he is also keeping an eye on translation and application development. He never misses a chance to travel together with friends and is always ready to join on a good laugh.
Master's Student "Electricus"
Emmanuel is an Electrical Engineer who boldly decided to resolve biological problems. After working as a Technical Engineer in a Hospital in Ghana, he decided to undertake a Master's program in Biomedical Engineering in Germany. He is now doing his thesis project with us, until he returns to the natural beauty and cooking delicacies of his home country..
PhD Student "Acceleron"
Yesaswini graduated in Biotechnology and has set her mind to become a molecular biology expert in the field of cardiovascular research. With a pair of pipettes she is faster to pull the trigger than any wild west bandit - and when she enters the lab, we all know she is coming to collect the reward!
PhD Student "Fortis"
Giulio arrived from Italy to finish the last Year of is PhD thesis with us. He is interested in muscle mechanobiology so he feels right at home here with us. When not working hard in the lab he is working hard in the gym, after which he recovers in front of a big bowl of rice - Giulio is a very rice guy :-)
Astrid is our secretary, and the master behind our orderings, and many other formalities. For the rest of us she is a true headache saver. Aside from the occasional cake, Astrid is also our gateway to an endless supply of fresh eggs, pumpkins, plums and all sorts of vegetables, fruits and flowers she brings from her garden .
PhD Student "Examplaire"
Madhukiran, aka Madhu, is a biotechnologist that joined our group to work in the development of engineered heart tissues. Madhu's "all terrain" approach to science says he is a rare breed of fighter. When not exploring ideas in the lab, we might find him reading by the sea.
Lab Technician "Supreme"
Doreen is our biology laboratory technician. She is the commander-in-chief of the daily running of our labs and without whom our lives would be a chaos. Unlike her crazy cat she cannot stand the smell of fish, but her ear will always pull her to a good rock music concert. On occasion, you might find her horse-riding.
High-throughput cell and spheroid mechanics in virtual fluidic channels.
Panhwar MH, Czerwinsiki F, Dabbiru VAS, Komaragiri Y, Fregin B, Biedenweg D, Nestler P, Pires RH and Otto O.
Nat Commun 2020 May 04. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15813-9 Online ahead of print.
A comparison of microfluidic methods for high-throughput cell deformability measurements.
Urbanska M, Muñoz HE, Shaw Bagnall J, Otto O, Manalis SR, Di Carlo D, Guck J.
Nat Methods. 2020 Apr 27. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-020-0818-8 Online ahead of print.
Purifying stem cell-derived red blood cells: a high-throughput label-free downstream processing strategy based on microfluidic spiral inertial separation and membrane filtration.
Guzniczak E, Otto O, Whyte G, Chandra T, Robertson NA, Willoughby N, Jimenez M, Bridle H.
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2020 Feb 26. https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.27319 Online ahead of print.
Deformability-induced lift force in spiral microchannels for cell separation.
Guzniczak E, Otto O, Whyte G, Willoughby N, Jimenez M, Bridle H
Lab Chip. 2020 Jan 9. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9lc01000a
Cardiomyocyte Mechanodynamics Under Conditions of Actin Remodelling.
Pires RH, Shree N, Manu E, Guzniczak E, Otto O
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2019 Nov 25, 374 (1786). https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0081
M. Mokbel, D. Mokbel, A. Mietke, N. Träber, S. Girardo, O. Otto, J. Guck, and S. Aland
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering (Article ASAP)
A press release has been published regarding our latest publication in Nature Communications:
"High-throughput Cell and Spheroid Mechanics in Virtual Fluidic Channels" In this work by Panhwar, Czerwinski et al. we show for the first time high-throughput assays for tissue mechanics. Our results reveal that the stiffness of a single cell exceeds the one of tissue by a factor of 10 thus implying that tissue mechanics is governed to a significant extent by cell-cell interaction
Check the press release here (in German).
High-throughput rheological measurements of cells and cell clusters by microfluidics is limited by fixed channel dimensions. Here the authors create virtual fluidic channels inside the cuvette of commercial flow cytometers to dynamically tune channel cross section to
enable rheological measurements from cells and cell clusters.
+49 (0)3834 86 22340
+49 (0) 3834 86 22341