Follow the light: Laser-activated nanorobots for tissue engineering and temperature sensing.

Prof. Özkale, who heads the Microrobotic Bioengineering Lab at the TU Munich, develops soft microrobots based on alginate, a fluorescent molecule and gold nanoparticles. These microrobots termed Thermally Activated Cell-Signal Imaging (TACSI) are precisely movable by laser-activation. During her seminar she presented data and videos showing how TACSIs can detect local temperatures by shifts in the fluorescence spectra of an incorporated fluorescent molecule, as well as induce signals in cancer cells by heat activation. Furthermore, she showed how TACSIs can be coupled to individual cells, allowing researchers to move them into close proximity, promoting formation of cell-cell connections and paving the way for potential rational tissue engineering.

After her excellent talk, Prof. Özkale discussed recent advances in tissue engineering and her scientific career with PhDs and Postdocs of the CRC. Her visit was rounded out by an entertaining dinner together with CRC Students and Postdocs. We once again thank Prof. Özkale for her visit allowing us a glimpse into the life of a bioengineer.

Thermally Activated Cell-Signal Imaging (TACSI)-microrobots (Green) in culture with cells. (Red/Blue/Green)