ECE Seminar Series: Seeing invisible biological cells – New horizons in cancer diagnosis and IVF

ECE title

ECE Seminar Series Fall 2016

Friday October 21st 1:30-2:30 PM, ITEB 125

Seeing invisible biological cells – New horizons in cancer diagnosis and IVF

Prof. Natan T. Shaked

Tel Aviv University, Israel

Abstract: One of the major challenges in the field of optical imaging of live cells is to achieve label-free but still fully quantitative measurements, which afford high-resolution morphological mapping at the single cell level. In particular, developing efficient, non-subjective, quantitative optical imaging technologies for single-cell imaging with clinical value is a challenging task. Live biological cells are three-dimensional (3D) dynamic microscopic objects that constantly adjust their sizes, shapes and other biophysical features. Visualizing cellular phenomena requires microscopic techniques that can achieve high data acquisition rates, while retaining both resolution and contrast to observe fine cellular features. However, cells in vitro are mostly-transparent 3D objects with absorbance and reflection characteristics that are very similar to their surroundings, and thus conventional intensity-based light microscopy approaches lack the required sensitivity. Exogenous labelling agents such as fluorescent dyes can be used to improve contrast. However, fluorescent agents tend to photo-bleach, reducing the available imaging time. Other concerns include cytotoxicity and the possibility that the exogenous agents will influence cellular behavior. Still, the widely used methods for detection and diagnosis of medical conditions in the cellular level cancer are based on indirect and subjective histological and cytological examination of tissues or samples from bodily fluids. Alternatively, if the sample has to stay alive, such as in sperm selection for in-vitro fertilization, the cells cannot be well visualized. In this lecture, I will review our latest advances in developing new imaging modalities to achieve affordable label-free but still fully quantitative measurements, which offer high-resolution 3D morphological and mechanical mapping of dynamic cells. These approaches are expected to pave the way to new clinical diagnosis and monitoring tools in the single-cell level. I will review two specific applications with a great clinical value: cancer monitoring and sperm selection in in vitro fertilization (IVF).


Short Bio
: Prof. Natan T. Shaked is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Till April 2011, Prof. Shaked was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. In the last 4 year, Prof. Shaked raised more 4 million dollar for research. Prof. Shaked is the coauthor of more than 50 refereed journal papers and 80 conference papers, and several book chapters, patents, and an edited book.