Extending the versatility of optical nanoscopy by 3D optical force spectroscopy

Project 6 - Zofia Maria Korczak

University of Gothenburg


(1) Development of 3D optical force spectroscopy of endothelial cells by calibration of polymer bead deviations by holographic optical tweezers near surfaces

(2) Integration of the force spectroscopy system with microfluidics and nanoscopy to monitor cellular response in vitro

(3) Determine changes in cellular fenestrations and the morphology of sieve plates in response to locally exerted forces

(4) Local enrichment of nanoparticle preparations by optical tweezers and cellular response in perfused liver sections

Expected Results:

(1) 3D optical force spectroscopy apparatus operational and calibrated

(2) mechanical properties of healthy, living LSEC membranes determined

(3) integration of nanoscopy with force spectroscopy system completed

(4) response of fenestrations and sieve plates to local, external forces determined

(5) changes in membrane elasticity due to exposure of LSECs to external agents and their reversibility determined in microfluidic cell culture


Project Lead:
Prof. Caroline Adiels

Early Stage Researcher:
Zofia Korczak


My name is Zofia Korczak and I am a physicist originating from Poland. I was awarded both my Bachelor’s degree (Nanotechnology) as well as my Master’s degree (Molecular Biophysics) from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. During my later studies I specialized in photobiophysics because I wished to continue my academic career path using physical approaches (mostly taking advantage of optical techniques) for biological problems. Before starting the PhD studies in Sweden, I worked for one year as a research assistant in the Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology in Madrid. My work there was focused on investigation of ionic liquid droplets, more exactly how to place them and how to move them along silicon nanowires.

My project within this ITN consortium is to extend the versatility of optical nanoscopy by 3D force measurements, which means that I will investigate properties of fenestrations in endothelial liver cells using holographic optical tweezers. By measuring small changes in applied forces one can determine and characterize e.g. cells’ membrane elasticities. This technique allows for comparison studies of cells and tissue with different phenotypes and, furthermore, the possibility of using multiple optical traps simultaneously gives us a wide range of potential geometries to perform such experiments.