Presentation by Murat Nurati Yesibolati, 4 August 2022

Measuring translational and rotational dynamics of colloid nanoparticles at the nanoscale with liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy
Murat Nulati Yesibolati, Assistant professor, Technical University of Denmark
4 August 2022, 10:30 CEST

How nanoparticles (NPs) in a liquid suspension grow, transport, and interact with each other and surrounding interfaces are of fundamental interest in the colloidal matter, biomedical applications, microfluidics, and artificial micro/nanoscopic motors. Traditionally, imaging of such liquid processes has been limited to optical microscopy (OM). Bulk-level methods such as conventional OM and light scattering methods such as dynamic light scattering (DLS) cannot deliver nanometer spatial resolution at the single-particle level. Recently, liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy (LPTEM) [1] has revolutionized the access to the nanoscale, label-free imaging of a wide variety of liquid processes. Typically, the liquid cells used for LPTEM consist of electron-transparent silicon nitride (SiNx) windows suspended on two Si chips, which enclose a liquid sample layer with a thickness ranging from a few hundred nanometers to a couple of microns. With LPTEM, NP dynamics, such as nucleation and growth, self-assembly, and interactions, have been studied with sub-nanometer spatial resolution and millisecond temporal resolution.
We demonstrate how LPTEM can be used to measure the motion of individual NPs and agglomerates. Only at low electron flux do we find that individual NPs exhibit Brownian motion consistent with optical control experiments and theoretical predictions for unhindered passive diffusive motion in bulk liquids [2]. For increasing electron flux, we find increasingly faster than passive motion that still appears effectively Brownian. We discuss the possible origins of this beam–sample interaction. This establishes conditions for the use of LPTEM as a reliable tool for imaging nanoscale hydrodynamics at the nanoscale.

Murat N. Yesibolati is an Assistant Professor at Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark. Murat defended his Ph.D. thesis titled “Electron holography and particle dynamics in liquid phase transmission electron microscopy” at DTU in 06.2018 under the supervision of Prof. Kristian Mølhave, DTU. Currently, he is focusing on developing a novel nanochannel liquid cell and exploring mass transport in nanochannels using advanced transmission electron microscopy. His research was supported by the Technical University of Denmark, by the Danish Research Council for Technology, grant no. 12-126194, the Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems (AMEWS) Center, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, USA, grant number DE-AC02-06CH11357, and the VILLUM foundation, grant number 00028273.

[1] de Jonge, N. and F.M. Ross, Electron microscopy of specimens in liquid. Nature Nanotechnology, 2011. 6: p. 695.
[2] Yesibolati, M.N., et al., Unhindered Brownian Motion of Individual Nanoparticles in Liquid-Phase Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy. Nano Letters, 2020. 20(10): p. 7108-7115.

Place: Nexus
Date: 4 August 2022
Time: 10:30 CEST

Presentation by Lun Li, 7 June 2022

Robots in real-world scenarios
Lun Li
7 June 2022, 15:00 CET

In this presentation, I will demonstrate how robots can work in the real-world and dynamic environments assisting or replacing humans and present examples from my previous work experiences. I will also explain the basic knowledge about robots, the challenges to design a robust robot system for business, and the current state of the robotics industry.

Short Bio
Lun Li is a robotics engineer. His work focuses on artificial intelligence and robot designing in the areas of robot navigation, manipulation, and cooperation. In the past three years, he has served as the CTO of robot startups in China. He has led two robot projects, one is an agricultural robotic jasmine tea harvester, and the other is an industrial unmanned forklift. The latter has been successfully launched in the market. Before entering the workplace, he got his two bachelor’s degrees from Beihang University in China and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University in United States.

Date: 7 June 2022
Time: 15:00
Place: Faraday

Presentation by Vide Ramsten, 10 June 2022

Observer, Target Generation and Control Design in Robotics
Vide Ramsten
10 June 2022, 15:00 CET

In this presentation, three topics related to Control Theory will be discussed together with practical examples from my Bachelor and Master thesis projects. First, the concept of state observers will be presented, where internal system states are estimated based on the measurable outputs of the system. Second, target generation will be discussed, in which the particular output or state trajectory of the system that is desired, is created. Lastly, we consider controller design, where we specify how to create the input given the previously defined parts such as target reference, measurable output and estimated system states. The theory will be applied to two projects. One in which a wheeled robot is developed for guiding purposes, so that the robot can show users the way to certain locations specified by the user. The project gives examples of state observers by localization algorithms, as well as target generation by path planning algorithms. The other example is a robotic testing system for passive prosthesis, where target generation through a motion-capture system is used as a reference for robot motion. A control strategy has been implemented in order to track this reference signal.

Short Bio
Vide Ramsten got his Bachelor degree in Automation and Mechatronic at the Chalmers University of Technology. After that, he continued his studies in a master programme in Systems, Control and Mechatronics at Chalmers. During his master, he did a double degree exchange with the University of Stuttgart, Germany in Engineering Cybernetics. While in Germany, he did a six-month internship at the robotics company BEC Gmbh focused on applications of control in robotics, as well as his master thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute of Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA.

Date: 10 June 2022
Time: 11:00
Place: Faraday

Presentation by R. Biswas, 1 June 2022

(Photo by G. Pesce)
Investigating the micro-rheology of an aging colloidal clay suspension using an optical tweezer
Rajkumar Biswas
Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India.
1 June 2022, 12:30 CET

Optical tweezers (OT) can be employed to measure pico-Newton forces acting on a colloidal particle trapped in a medium and have been used to successfully probe complex systems having fragile structures. In this work, we use an optical tweezer setup to study aging aqueous suspensions of Laponite clay particles of different concentrations. Laponite particles in aqueous suspension form fragile networks whose rigidities grow with time due to the gradual evolution of inter-particle electrostatic interactions. Using OT, we study the displacements of a trapped micron-sized colloidal bead in a Laponite suspension medium during the evolution of the underlying structures. By analyzing the power spectrum, we demonstrate that the viscosity of the aging Laponite suspension increases with time. Furthermore, we perform active micro-rheology experiments wherein we apply a sinusoidal oscillation to the sample cell while keeping the particle trapped in the Laponite suspension. Simultaneously, the force response of the trapped particle is recorded during the controlled applied oscillation. The phase lag between the applied oscillatory signal and the force experienced by the trapped particle due to the oscillatory deformation is calculated. A range of frequencies is applied to estimate the elastic (G’) and viscous (G”) moduli of the Laponite suspension over a broad range of time scales and at different suspension ages. It is found that G’ is lower than G” at the lower frequencies and eventually crosses G” at a frequency that depends on the Laponite concentration. We change the size of the trapped particle to study how the probe particle size affects the micro-rheological measurements of the viscoelastic gel-like medium. We next investigate the concentration- and aging-dependences of the fragile structures in Laponite suspensions of different concentrations using cryogenic electron microscopy. The average pore areas of these structures are seen to decrease with increasing Laponite concentrations. We show that the crossover frequency of G’ and G”, obtained from micro-rheological measurements, is proportional to the average diameter of the pores in the Laponite gel measured using electron microscopy.

Short Bio
Rajkumar Biswas is currently doing his PhD in Raman Research Institute (RRI), India. Before joining RRI in 2016, he completed his bachelor’s and masters in Physics from St. Xavier’s college, Kolkata and Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) respectively. In RRI he is working in the Soft Condensed Matter group with Prof. Ranjini Bandyopadhyay. His research focuses on rheological and dynamical properties of different soft matter systems. He has worked on various projects which includes rheological studies of Laponite gels using falling ball viscometer and optical tweezer. Along with that, he has been studying the dynamical heterogeneities in colloidal and granular systems.

Seminar by Eric Clément, 31 May 2022

Slide from E. Clément’s presentation. (Image by A. Callegari via Zoom)
Bacteria exploring Newtonian and non-Newtonian complex fluids: from behavioral variability to medium assisted tumbling
Eric Clément
PMMH-ESPCI-PSL, Sorbonne University, University Paris-Cité
31 May 2022, 11:00 CET

Understanding the way motile micro-organisms such as bacteria explore their environment is central to many ecological, medical and biotechnological questions. Here, I will present recent advances on the actual spatial exploration process undertaken by flagellated bacteria such as E.coli, undergoing sequences of runs and tumbles, leading to a random-walk. The extreme sensitivity of the motor rotation switch (CCW/CW) to the presence of a phosphorylated protein (CheYP) in its vicinity, leads to a behavioral variability of run-times, characterized by a log-normal distribution [1]. This mechanism prevails in most Newtonian fluids and has important consequences on the residence times at surfaces [2] as well as the large scale transport and dispersion in confined environments [3]. However when the surrounding fluid is a yield-stress fluid, the locally high resistance to penetration takes control of the exploration process and the run persistence time distribution is strongly affected by the mechanical bending of the flagella bundle, hence controlling the spatial diffusivity as well as the onset of a motility barrier.

[1] N. Figueroa-Morales et al., 3D spatial exploration by E.coli echoes motor temporal variability, Phys. Rev. X, 10, 021004 (2020).
[2] G. Junot et al., Run-to-tumble variability controls the surface residence times of E. coli bacteria, to appear in Phys. Rev. Lett. (2022).
[3] N. Figueroa-Morales et al., E.coli “super-contaminates” narrow channels fostered by broad motor switching statistics, Science Advances, 6, eaay0155 (2020).

Presentation by Gille Claude Vanwalleghem, 4 May 2022

Imaging large neuronal circuits from the Brain to the Gut
Gilles Claude Vanwalleghem
4 May 2022, 12:30 CET

As a transparent animal and with powerful light-based tools to monitor the brain, the larval zebrafish offers a perfect window into functioning neural circuits. We can image the whole brain of zebrafish with cellular resolution, as they respond to various stimuli and record the activity of thousands of neurons. I will focus on two recent studies, one in collaboration with optical physicists, using optical tweezers to move otolith in the inner ear and simulate acceleration. We identified several salient response types, and showed the fish can respond to unnatural stimuli. The other used a microfluidics device to apply water flow to the fish and stimulate the lateral line. The fish’s brain could encode the speed, duration and direction of the water flow, but we also showed that the circuit was biased towards one specific direction of flow. Finally, I will briefly present the new focus of my lab, the gut-brain axis is a physiological communication network between the microbiome, enteric and central nervous system. We are using light sheet microscopy to image the activity of the ENS neurons from 3 to 7 days post fertilization fish. We observed that the spontaneous neuronal activity increases from 3 to 5 dpf, before dropping suddenly at day 7.

I received my PhD in 2012 from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles where I worked on the Trypanosoma brucei parasite. We discovered a key role of Trypanosoma brucei adenylate cyclases in host-pathogen interactions, as well as the mechanisms through which the human APOL1 can trigger the parasite’s death. In 2014, I was awarded an EMBO long-term fellowship, to shift my focus to neuroscience and the use of optogenetics in larval zebrafish. My work since has spanned several sensory modalities in the zebrafish, including optical traps for vestibular stimulation, visual loom responses, auditory processing, and water flow perception.
I am an assistant professor at Aarhus University since October 2021, where I will focus on the gut-brain axis, I am especially interested in the interactions between neurons, bacteria and the immune system.

Presentation by Hang Zhao, 3 May 2022

Medical image segmentation using deep learning.
Hang Zhao
3 May 2022, 11:00

Image segmentation and synthesis of CT image based on deep learning: Deep learning methods for medical image segmentation are hindered by the lack of training data. This thesis aims to develop a method that overcomes this problem. Basic U-net trained on XCAT phantom data was tested first. The segmentation results were unsatisfactory even when artificial quantum noise was added. As a workaround, CycleGAN was used to add tissue textures to the XCAT phantom images by analyzing patient CT images. The generated images were used to train the network. The textures introduced by CycleGAN improved the segmentation, but some errors remained. Basic U-net was replaced with Attention U-net, which further improved the segmentation. More work is needed to fine-tune and thoroughly evaluate the method. The results obtained so far demonstrate the potential of this method for the segmentation of medical images. The proposed algorithms may be used in iterative image reconstruction algorithms in multi-energy computed tomography.

3D Cell nuclei segmentation using digital nuclei phantom and 3D deep learning methods : The analysis of microscopy image is helpful to pathological analysis. Nowadays, deep learning has shown the capabilities of processing the medical imaging data. However, developing deep learning methods in microscopy image analysis can be challenging because of the lack of ground truth and various resolution of microscopy image data. This project aims to build a digital nuclei phantom that simulates the actual microscopy images, including mitotic rate, nucleus size, noise, point spread function, and diverse resolutions. The phantom images were used to train 3D deep neural network for nuclei segmentation. The trained neural network was tested for segmentation on datasets with different resolutions. The neural network successfully performed segmentation on most resolutions in our dataset, and the segmentation results reflect the morphology and density of nuclei in microscopy images. The future work will focus on improving the nuclei phantom to generate more realistic phantom images, thereby further helping with segmentation.

My name is Hang, I took my bachelor’s in China on radiophysics, and master’s at Linköping University on biomedical imaging. After I graduate, I joined Karolinska as a research assistant on 3D microscopy image processing. Now, I am working at Linköping university as a full time research engineer, contributing to cardiovascular MR image processing, supervised by Petter Dyverfeldt.

Presentation by Timo Betz, 20 April 2022

How fundamental physics leads the way to a better understanding of life’s complexity
Timo Betz
Georg August University Göttingen
20 April 2022, 12:30 CEST

Many biological systems rely on fundamental physical principles for their proper function. Here, mechanical processes such as force generation and adaptation of stiffness and viscosity have been very successfully used to explain complex biomedical questions with physical concepts. Such advances have been largely driven by new methods that allow to quantify biological processes and to construct theoretical models with high predictive power. I will present our recent approaches that allow to study active force generation and mobility in different biological systems over several length scales. Starting with active motion of membranes and intracellular particles in oocytes followed by cytosolic fluidification during cell division we will construct a surprisingly general description of active motion inside the cytoplasm. In a further direction, similar principles are used to study the flow of whole tissue. Here we analyze pressure driven outbursts of cancer cells from model tumors, but also the collective motion during zebrafish development that eventually shapes a whole new animal. The tools we use are largely based on continuum mechanics and statistical mechanics, and give deep insights into the physical principles that are exploited by cells and living objects to perform their intriguing function.

Links: BetzLab

Presentation by Cynthia Reichhardt, 6 April 2022

Clogging, Dynamics and Reentrant Fluid for Active Matter on Periodic Substrates
Cynthia Reichhardt
Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA
6 April 2022, 16:00 CEST

We explore the interactions between substrate length scales and correlation length scales of run-and-tumble active matter disks. For the case of a Casimir geometry of two plates placed a distance d apart, we show that an effective active-matter-mediated attraction arises due to a geometric shadowing effect [1]. Next we shrink the plates down to columns and consider connections to jamming [2] and clogging effects [3] found in passive granular matter. The active particles are driven with an external force through columns placed in a square periodic array [4]. When the drive is applied along a symmetry direction of the array, we find a clog-free uniform liquid state for low activity, while at higher activity, the density becomes increasingly heterogeneous and an active clogged state emerges in which the mobility is strongly reduced. For driving along non-symmetry or incommensurate directions, there are two different clogging behaviors consisting of a drive dependent clogged state in the low activity thermal limit and a drive independent clogged state at high activity. These regimes are separated by a uniform flowing liquid at intermediate activity. There is a critical activity level above which the thermal clogged state does not occur, as well as an optimal activity level that maximizes the disk mobility. Thermal clogged states are dependent on the driving direction while active clogged states are not [5].

[1] D. Ray, C. Reichhardt, and C.J.O. Reichhardt, Phys. Rev. E 90, 013019 (2014).
[2] J.A. Drocco, M.B. Hastings, C.J.O. Reichhardt, and C. Reichhardt, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 088001 (2005).
[3] H. Peter, A. Libal, C. Reichhardt, and C.J.O. Reichhardt, Sci. Rep. 8, 10252 (2018).
[4] C. Reichhardt and C.J.O. Reichhardt, Phys. Rev. E 102, 042616 (2020).
[5] C. Reichhardt and C.J.O. Reichhardt, Phys. Rev. E 103, 062603 (2021).

Links: Cynthia Reichhardt’s home page

Laura Natali presented her half-time seminar on 1 April 2022

Opponent Bernhard Mehlig (left), Laura Natali (center), and PhD supervisor Giovanni Volpe (right). (Photo by L. Perez.)
Laura Natali completed the first half of her doctoral studies and she defended her half-time on the 1st of April 2022.

The presentation was held in hybrid format, with part of the audience in the Von Bahr room and the rest connected through zoom. The half-time consisted in a presentation about her past and planned projects and it was followed by a discussion and questions proposed by her opponent Bernhard Mehlig.

The presentation started with a description of her concluded projects about employing neural networks in an epidemic agent-based model, published in Improving epidemic testing and containment strategies using machine learning accepted in Machine Learning: Science and Technology. It continued with her second project, about handling incomplete medical datasets with neural networks, available online as a preprint Neural Network Training with Highly Incomplete Datasets on ArXiv. In the last section, she outlined the proposed continuation of her PhD, with an ongoing project for combining artificial active matter with neural networks.