Centre for Biological Signalling Studies

Metabolic Lipid Imaging with Raman Microscopy and Microfluidics

Dr. Matthias Meier (IMTEK, University of Freiburg)


Raman microscopy is a powerful optical technology able to insight into the organic and inorganic chemical composition of living cells. By providing specific information with high spatial resolution about vibrational energy levels of chemical bonds and molecules, Raman microscopy can ‘fingerprint’ metabolic states of cells. On the other hand microfluidic large-scale integration technology has demonstrate to control precisely the chemical microenvironment of hundreds of cell cultures in parallel with over weeks. In this funded BIOSS project we aim to couple microfluidic chip technology and raman microscopy to study lipid signaling between and in primary human adipocytes. Lipid droplets within adipocytes are the largest energy reservoir in the human body. External hormone, and nutrient availability tightly regulate the build-up (lipogenesis) and break down (lipolysis) of the lipid droplets. Disruption of the regulatory signal network controlling lipid droplet size leads to obesity, and diabetes. Therefore, we aim to quantify lipid uptake and release from human primary adipocytes to establish pharmaceutical indicators for these two diseases.