"20'000 leagues under the surface: Novel optogenetic and microscopy techniques for cardiac electrophysiology and neuroscience"


"20'000 leagues under the surface: Novel optogenetic and microscopy techniques for cardiac electrophysiology and neuroscience"

Wed, 23/10/2019 - 13:30 to 14:30


Caroline Muellenbroich
University of Glasgow

Light-sheet microscopy excels in fast whole-organ acquisitions either in clarified mouse brains or intrinsically transparent zebrafish larva. In the first part of this talk, I will present our technical and optical solutions for microscope automation including autofocusing and Bessel beams. The data deluge is arguably one of the biggest challenges modern microscopy has to face and automation of microscope acquisition and data analysis has been pursued to this end. The results shown here demonstrate important steps towards maximizing information content in acquired data and should have a high impact in battling the data deluge.
Optogenetics, a combination of targeted light and gene delivery, has provided novel insights in cardiovascular research. A want of current methodologies, however, is the possibility to react to cardiac wave dynamics in real time. In the second half of my talk, I will present a platform for optical mapping and optogenetic stimulation of intact mouse hearts to monitor and control electrical activity in a closed-loop approach. The system comprises a wide-field mescoscope with a digital projector for customizable optogenetic activation. Cardiac function can be manipulated in a closed-loop fashion where the platforms allows for real-time intervention within 1ms. This platform promises an exciting new approach to investigate the (patho)physiology of the heart.


I studied physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and obtained my PhD from the Institute of Photonics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 2012. I then joined the Biophotonics group at the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy (LENS) in Florence, Italy as a post doc in 2013 to implement confocal light-sheet microscopy for structural whole mouse brain imaging and then later functional calcium imaging in Zebrafish. From 2016 on, I was a researcher with the Italian National Institute of Optics, part of the Italian National Research Council where I worked on non-diffracting beams and cardiac optogenetics. Since September 2018, I am a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. I teach electrodynamics and electronics to first year Physics students and research cardiac imaging and optogenetics which is also the topic of my Marie Curie Fellowship starting September 2019.