project 4

bio-nano-opto-electronics: Analyzing T cell activation using integrated electro-optical metamaterials

Project Leaders:
Andreas Guse and Robert Blick

Image proof:
Illustration: | © Infectophysics 2019

Infections with pathogenic microorganisms activate the adaptive immune system. T cell activation is the central switch in this process. Upon activation of T cells by pathogenic (antigenic) peptides, intracellular signaling is activated resulting in transcriptional activation, proliferation and differentiation into effector T cells. To analyze these processes in real time with high precision, currently fluorescence confocal microscopy, cell counter, or fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) are in use. These methods are limited regarding resolution and process speed. Previously, we reported use of microtubes with embedded coplanar waveguides for dielectric spectroscopy of T cells (1). Goal of our project is a significant improvement of combined electrical and optical (T) cell analyses, using micro- and nano-structured materials, e.g. micro tubes and/or metamaterials. The basic approach is to develop an integrated Lab-on-Chip (LOC) approach for simultaneous electro-optical testing with significantly drastically enhanced resolution and process velocity.