Jochen Guck

Mechanocytometry Session

Friday, October, 1st, 2021, 9:00am – 10:30am

Intelligent image-based deformation-assisted cell sorting with molecular specificity

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light & Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, Staudtstraße 2, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

Chair of Biological Optomechanics, Department of Physics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany


While label-free cell sorting is desirable to provide pristine cells for further analysis or use, current approaches lack molecular specificity and speed. Here we combine real-time fluorescence and deformability cytometry with surface acoustic wave-based sorting. We demonstrate basic sorting capabilities of the device using cell mimics and blood not only based on fluorescence but also cell deformability, as a very sensitive inherent functional marker, and other image-derived parameters. In addition, training a deep neural network to identify cells based on images alone, after prior classification using established fluorescence-based markers, transfers molecular specificity to label-free sorting. This approach combines all the advantages of label-free sorting with molecular specificity and opens the door to many novel applications in biology and medicine.


Jochen Guck received his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. After being a group leader at the University of Leipzig, he moved to the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University as a Lecturer in 2007 and was promoted to Reader in 2009. In 2012 he became Professor of Cellular Machines at the Biotechnology Center of the Technische Universität Dresden. As of October 2018 he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light and the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen, Germany, and since August 2020 Professor of Biological Optomechanics in the Physics Department of the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. His research centers on exploring the physical properties of biological cells and tissues, and their importance for cell function and behavior. He also develops novel photonic, microfluidic and scanning-force probe techniques for the study of these optical and mechanical properties. The ultimate goal is utilizing this insight for novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. He has authored over 145 peer-reviewed publications and six patents. His work has been recognized by several awards, amongst them the Cozzarelli Award by the National Academy of Sciences (USA) in 2008, the Paterson Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics (UK) in 2011 and an Alexander-von-Humboldt Professorship in 2012.





Toward Deep Biophysical Cytometry: Prospects and Challenges

Intelligent image-based deformation-assisted cell sorting with molecular specificity

A comparison of microfluidic methods for high throughput cell deformability measurements.