The research group Bioimaging investigates functional principles of organs at the cellular and subcellular level using functional imaging methods and develops these further.

Head of department
Dr. Nachiket Vartak
Ardeystr. 67
44139 Dortmund

Group Leader

The Bioimaging group focuses on dynamic cellular processes, with a special focus on processes that contribute to liver diseases in humans. Alterations of cellular processes in disease states are investigated using quantitative imaging methods such as 2-photon and confocal microscopy along with advanced modalities such as FRET, FCS, RICS in vivo, and in live cells and well as fixed samples. Past research work has focused on the sub-micron 3D architecture of liver tissue in cholestatic liver disease and the direct investigation of bile transport mechanisms in liver canaliculi and bile ducts in vivo. Current research focuses on lipid droplet dynamics in liver cells, aberrations of which are the most conspicuous feature of metabolic associated fatty liver disease.

The group develops label free imaging modalities based on Spontaneous Raman (SRS) and Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Imaging (CARS), where image contrast is generated directly from the chemical composition of cells, tissue or organ in vivo in order to observe changes that occur during and contribute to liver disease. These modalities allow extracting a chemical fingerprint of the disease with minimal to no sample processing. Quantitative imaging data necessitates the development of image processing algorithms and software to draw interpretations. Machine-learning methods are used for image segmentation, classification and fingerprint extraction.

Besides providing an in-depth view of cell biology in disease, these modalities have a direct translational relevance in terms of rapid and robust diagnostic applications. This combination of basic science with a firm drive towards clinical application is a foundational goal of the Bioimaging group. Further information, public data repositories, software and publications from the group can be found at: