T4: Optical Engineering

Team Members:


Thomas Bifano (BU), Team Leader, tgb@bu.edu


Xue Han (BU), xuehan@bu.edu


Jerome Mertz (BU), jmertz@bu.edu


Jin He (FIU), jinhe@fiu.edu

The Research: Optical Engineering

An ERC Technical Challenge We plan to use light to image and activate 3D tissues. These tissues scatter and absorb light and constantly move due to contractile forces. This makes imaging a challenge.

Image cells

Proposed Areas of Research

  • Develop novel imaging techniques to allow imaging with high resolution over large volumes
  • Understand optical signals associated with cardiac tissue function (cell attachment, cardiomyocyte dynamics)
  • Use optical tools to stimulate cells optogenetically and measure tissue response
  • Image intercellular and intracellular functions using light-based tools

Approach: Use adaptive optics, extended depth-of-field imaging, and optogenetics to solve practical tissue engineering problems



  • Microscopes that uniquely enable scaffold builders and tissue engineers in other thrusts
  • Precise control of optogenetic actuation and fluorescent sensing in engineered 3D tissues
  • Deep, wide, and fast tissue imaging tools
  • Optical biosensors to monitor behavior of tissues