ChBE Seminar Series: Brillouin microscopy for cell and tissue biomechanics
Speaker: Giuliano Scarcelli, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, UMD
Title: Brillouin microscopy for cell and tissue biomechanics
Brillouin spectroscopy has been widely used to characterize material mechanical properties. To translate the technology to biomedical applications where mechanical properties are often critical, our lab has developed spectrometer configurations at high throughput and combined them with optical microscopes, to develop 3D imaging modalities that uses the high-frequency longitudinal modulus as contrast mechanism for imaging. The first area of application in this research has been in ophthalmology as the loss of corneal strength leads to ectasia (thinning and bulging) and is a major risk factor for refractive surgery. To address this issue, Scarcelli's team has developed an in vivo Brillouin ophthalmoscope, and encouraging data show the team can differentiate ectatic corneas and characterize outcome of emerging treatments. Recently they have demonstrated increased Brillouin microscopy resolution to characterize intracellular modulus and we have now developed a flow cytometry platform to rapidly characterize cells based on their mechanical properties. Finally, Scarcelli will discuss the interpretation and broader potential of Brillouin spectral signatures in the context of soft matter such as cells and tissues.
Giuliano Scarcelli is a physicist trained in optical sciences and technology development. He obtained his PhD in quantum optics from University of Bari, Italy and UMBC, USA under Prof. Yanhua Shih. Giuliano then was at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine of Harvard Medical School for eight years, first as a postdoc in Prof. Yun's Lab, then as an instructor and assistant professor. He joined University of Maryland in 2015. Giuliano has been the recipient of several awards such as the “Exceptional by example” award for outstanding PhD studies, the Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award, the NIH Quantitative Career Award, and “Teaching excellence” awards from both Harvard University and University of Maryland.