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In the case of sterile inflammations, such as a stroke or myocardial infarction, massive inflammatory responses are triggered in the body even without direct external action. In order to achieve a better understanding of immune responses to sterile infections in different organ systems, the Biofluorescence research group focuses on identifying the cellular and molecular immune mechanisms underlying their development.

One focus is on the detailed molecular analysis of specific tissue niches encountered by invading immune cells in inflamed organs or in tumors. These are fundamentally different from the environment in, for example, bone marrow, blood or lymphoid organs - the sites where immune cells reside under non-inflammatory conditions. Immune cells respond rapidly and with fundamental changes in their molecular functionality to changes in their environment. These molecular transformations dramatically alter immune cell responses to common stimuli, but are still not fully understood.

3D reconstruction of a human neutrophil granulocyte captured by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

© ISAS / Matthias Gunzer & Anika Grüneboom

Localisation of the inflammation-induced immigration of macrophages (green) into a murine knee joint under rheumatoid arthritis by using light-sheet fluorescence microscopy. Blood vessels are shown in red and general tissue in grey.

© ISAS / Matthias Gunzer & Anika Grüneboom

Comparisons of the optical resolution of images of human neutrophil granulocytes by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy and widefield microscopy.

© ISAS / Matthias Gunzer & Anika Grüneboom

To better understand the role of the immune response in sterile inflammation, the researchers induce various disease states in animal models. They then analyse the inflamed tissues and infiltrated immune cells using advanced light and electron microscopy. The tissues are then further molecularly characterized using flow cytometry, mass spectrometry (MS) and MS-based imaging. In translational studies, the scientists investigate the response of human immune cells to similar triggers in vitro. In various collaborations with partners from the University Hospital Essen, the researchers at ISAS also analyse cells from human patients. With the results obtained, they hope to identify potential new therapeutic targets, subsequently verify them experimentally, and ultimately derive new therapy regimens for patients from the results.


20th February 2024

SARS-CoV-2: The Very Latest Methods Clarify the Active Agents and the Mechanism of Action of Ancient Self-Medications

Prophylactic, soothing or even healing agents, mostly natural substances, have been known to natural medicine since ancient times. But what about viral infections? Could infusions made from sage or perilla also be used against SARS-CoV-2 infections -as a prevention or an aid to healing? An interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Prof Dr Mirko Trilling from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and scientists at ISAS investigated these questions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Das Bild zeigt Prof. Dr. Mirko Trilling mit verschränkten Armen, an einer Wand lehnend. The picture shows Prof Dr Mirko Trilling with his arms folded, leaning against a wall.
21st December 2023

Science Slam: Humorous Science Communication Is Fun for Everyone

Talking lab equipment, artificial intelligence and expertise from the North Pole - this colourful mix of topics characterised the latest Science Slam at the institute. Four ISAS employees demonstrated with their specialist knowledge and plenty of humour how science communication can be fun for everyone involved.

Luisa Becher fotografiert die vier Teilnehmenden des ISAS Science Slam.
23rd September 2022

Hand in Hand for Successful Publications

Dr Rita Strack revealed the secret of successful publications during her talk at ISAS. Even for established scientists, much of what the Nature Methods senior editor revealed in Dortmund was new.

Group photo visit of Dr Strack.
10th August 2022

Tumour-Associated Neutrophils: A Robot Could Save Precious Samples

For Susmita Ghosh, examining the molecular makeup of tumour-associated neutrophils comes with two challenges: limited samples and biopsy material prone to damage.

Julia Rauch & Susmita Ghosh am Bravo Roboter.
5th July 2022

"They made me feel like I have a new family here"

Susmita Ghosh came to ISAS to work in the Bio-Fluorescence group. In the interview, the biologist reveals what it was like to emigrate in the middle of the pandemic.

Portrait Susmita Ghosh.