CMTM Trainees Awarded Student Paper of the Year by BME

Congratulations to CMTM Trainees Rohin Banerji, Gabby Grifno, Linzheng Shi, Dylan Smolen, Rob LeBourdais, Johnathan Muhvich, Cate Eberman, Kathryn Regan, Siyi Zhang, and Riley Pihl for winning Student Paper of the Year at Boston University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering student awards ceremony.  Their paper, “Crystal Ribcage: a platform probing real-time lung function at cellular resolution,” was published in Nature Methods on September 14, 2023 and was co-authored by CMTM PIs Hadi Nia and Bela Suki, along with PIs Katrina Traber, Sarah Mazzilli, and Giovanni Ligresti and their lab managers and postdocs.

Read the abstract below click the paper title above to read the entire article.

Congratulations on this extraordinary achievement!


Understanding the dynamic pathogenesis and treatment response in pulmonary diseases requires probing the lung at cellular resolution in real time. Despite advances in intravital imaging, optical imaging of the lung during active respiration and circulation has remained challenging. Here, we introduce the crystal ribcage: a transparent ribcage that allows multiscale optical imaging of the functioning lung from whole-organ to single-cell level. It enables the modulation of lung biophysics and immunity through intravascular, intrapulmonary, intraparenchymal and optogenetic interventions, and it preserves the three-dimensional architecture, air–liquid interface, cellular diversity and respiratory–circulatory functions of the lung. Utilizing these capabilities on murine models of pulmonary pathologies we probed remodeling of respiratory–circulatory functions at the single-alveolus and capillary levels during disease progression. The crystal ribcage and its broad applications presented here will facilitate further studies of nearly any pulmonary disease as well as lead to the identification of new targets for treatment strategies.


Banerji, R., Grifno, G.N., Shi, L. et al. Crystal ribcage: a platform for probing real-time lung function at cellular resolution. Nat Methods 20, 1790–1801 (2023).