The environment topography alters the transition from single-cell populations to multicellular structures in Myxococcus xanthus published in Science Advances

M. xanthus cell-cell and cell-particle local interactions during cellular aggregation.
The environment topography alters the transition from single-cell populations to multicellular structures in Myxococcus xanthus
Karla C. Hernández Ramos, Edna Rodríguez-Sánchez, Juan Antonio Arias del Angel, Alejandro V. Arzola, Mariana Benítez, Ana E. Escalante, Alessio Franci, Giovanni Volpe, Natsuko Rivera-Yoshida
Sci. Adv. 7(35), eabh2278 (2021)
bioRxiv: 10.1101/2021.01.27.428527
doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abh2278

The social soil-dwelling bacteria Myxococcus xanthus can form multicellular structures, known as fruiting bodies. Experiments in homogeneous environments have shown that this process is affected by the physico-chemical properties of the substrate, but they have largely neglected the role of complex topographies. We experimentally demonstrate that the topography alters single-cell motility and multicellular organization in M. xanthus. In topographies realized by randomly placing silica particles over agar plates, we observe that the cells’ interaction with particles drastically modifies the dynamics of cellular aggregation, leading to changes in the number, size and shape of the fruiting bodies, and even to arresting their formation in certain conditions. We further explore this type of cell-particle interaction in a minimal computational model. These results provide fundamental insights into how the environment topography influences the emergence of complex multicellular structures from single cells, which is a fundamental problem of biological, ecological and medical relevance.

Presentation by L. Pérez García at OSA-OMA-2021

FORMA allows to identify and characterize all the equilibrium points in a force field generated by a speckle pattern.
FORMA and BEFORE: Expanding Applications of Optical Tweezers. Laura Pérez Garcia, Martin Selin, Alejandro V. Arzola, Giovanni Volpe, Alessandro Magazzù, Isaac Pérez Castillo.
Submitted to OSA-OMA 2021,  ATh1D.5
Date: 15 April
Time: 15:45 (CEST)

FORMA (force reconstruction via maximum-likelihood-estimator analysis) addresses the need to measure the force fields acting on microscopic particles. Compared to alternative established methods, FORMA is faster, simpler, more accurate, and more precise. Furthermore, FORMA can also measure non-conservative and out-of-equilibrium force fields. Here, after a brief introduction to FORMA, I will present its use, advantages, and limitations. I will conclude with the most recent work where we exploit Bayesian inference to expand FORMA’s scope of application.

Optical Tweezers: A Comprehensive Tutorial from Calibration to Applications accepted on Advances in Optics and Photonics

Schematic of a bistable potential generated with a double-beam optical tweezers.

Optical Tweezers: A Comprehensive Tutorial from Calibration to Applications
Jan Gieseler, Juan Ruben Gomez-Solano, Alessandro Magazzù, Isaac Pérez Castillo, Laura Pérez García, Marta Gironella-Torrent, Xavier Viader-Godoy, Felix Ritort, Giuseppe Pesce, Alejandro V. Arzola, Karen Volke-Sepulveda & Giovanni Volpe
Advances in Optics and Photonics, 13(1), 74-241 (2021)
arXiv: 2004.05246

Since their invention in 1986 by Arthur Ashkin and colleagues, optical tweezers have become an essential tool in several fields of physics, spectroscopy, biology, nanotechnology, and thermodynamics. In this Tutorial, we provide a primer on how to calibrate optical tweezers and how to use them for advanced applications. After a brief general introduction on optical tweezers, we focus on describing and comparing the various available calibration techniques. Then, we discuss some cutting-edge applications of optical tweezers in a liquid medium, namely to study single-molecule and single-cell mechanics, microrheology, colloidal interactions, statistical physics, and transport phenomena. Finally, we consider optical tweezers in vacuum, where the absence of a viscous medium offers vastly different dynamics and presents new challenges. We conclude with some perspectives for the field and the future application of optical tweezers. This Tutorial provides both a step-by-step guide ideal for non-specialists entering the field and a comprehensive manual of advanced techniques useful for expert practitioners. All the examples are complemented by the sample data and software necessary to reproduce them.

Soft Matter Lab presentations at the SPIE Optics+Photonics Digital Forum

Seven members of the Soft Matter Lab (Saga HelgadottirBenjamin Midtvedt, Aykut Argun, Laura Pérez-GarciaDaniel MidtvedtHarshith BachimanchiEmiliano Gómez) were selected for oral and poster presentations at the SPIE Optics+Photonics Digital Forum, August 24-28, 2020.

The SPIE digital forum is a free, online only event.
The registration for the Digital Forum includes access to all presentations and proceedings.

The Soft Matter Lab contributions are part of the SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering conferences, namely the conference on Emerging Topics in Artificial Intelligence 2020 and the conference on Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XVII.

The contributions being presented are listed below, including also the presentations co-authored by Giovanni Volpe.

Note: the presentation times are indicated according to PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) (GMT-7)

Emerging Topics in Artificial Intelligence 2020

Saga Helgadottir
Digital video microscopy with deep learning (Invited Paper)
26 August 2020, 10:30 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Aykut Argun
Calibration of force fields using recurrent neural networks
26 August 2020, 8:30 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Laura Pérez-García
Deep-learning enhanced light-sheet microscopy
25 August 2020, 9:10 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Daniel Midtvedt
Holographic characterization of subwavelength particles enhanced by deep learning
24 August 2020, 2:40 PM
SPIE Link: here.

Benjamin Midtvedt
DeepTrack: A comprehensive deep learning framework for digital microscopy
26 August 2020, 11:40 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Gorka Muñoz-Gil
The anomalous diffusion challenge: Single trajectory characterisation as a competition
26 August 2020, 12:00 PM
SPIE Link: here.

Meera Srikrishna
Brain tissue segmentation using U-Nets in cranial CT scans
25 August 2020, 2:00 PM
SPIE Link: here.

Juan S. Sierra
Automated corneal endothelium image segmentation in the presence of cornea guttata via convolutional neural networks
26 August 2020, 11:50 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Harshith Bachimanchi
Digital holographic microscopy driven by deep learning: A study on marine planktons (Poster)
24 August 2020, 5:30 PM
SPIE Link: here.

Emiliano Gómez
BRAPH 2.0: Software for the analysis of brain connectivity with graph theory (Poster)
24 August 2020, 5:30 PM
SPIE Link: here.

Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XVII

Laura Pérez-García
Reconstructing complex force fields with optical tweezers
24 August 2020, 5:00 PM
SPIE Link: here.

Alejandro V. Arzola
Direct visualization of the spin-orbit angular momentum conversion in optical trapping
25 August 2020, 10:40 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Isaac Lenton
Illuminating the complex behaviour of particles in optical traps with machine learning
26 August 2020, 9:10 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Fatemeh Kalantarifard
Optical trapping of microparticles and yeast cells at ultra-low intensity by intracavity nonlinear feedback forces
24 August 2020, 11:10 AM
SPIE Link: here.

Note: the presentation times are indicated according to PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) (GMT-7)

FORMA – Enhanced Optical Tweezers Calibration published in Nature Commun.

High-Performance Reconstruction of Microscopic Force Fields from Brownian Trajectories

High-Performance Reconstruction of Microscopic Force Fields from Brownian Trajectories
Laura Pérez García, Jaime Donlucas Pérez, Giorgio Volpe, Alejandro V. Arzola & Giovanni Volpe
Nature Communications 9, 5166 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07437-x
arXiv: 1808.05468

The accurate measurement of microscopic force fields is crucial in many branches of science and technology, from biophotonics and mechanobiology to microscopy and optomechanics. These forces are often probed by analysing their influence on the motion of Brownian particles. Here we introduce a powerful algorithm for microscopic force reconstruction via maximum-likelihood-estimator analysis (FORMA) to retrieve the force field acting on a Brownian particle from the analysis of its displacements. FORMA estimates accurately the conservative and non-conservative components of the force field with important advantages over established techniques, being parameter-free, requiring ten-fold less data and executing orders-of-magnitude faster. We demonstrate FORMA performance using optical tweezers, showing how, outperforming other available techniques, it can identify and characterise stable and unstable equilibrium points in generic force fields. Thanks to its high performance, FORMA can accelerate the development of microscopic and nanoscopic force transducers for physics, biology and engineering.

See also freeware software at 10.6084/m9.figshare.7181888

Featured in:
Optimerad optisk pincett,

Alejandro V. Arzola visits the Soft Matter Lab. Welcome!

Alejandro V. Arzola is a Visiting Professor from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. His visiting position is financed through the Linnaeus Palme International Exchange Programme.

Alejandro was born in Oaxaca in the south of Mexico. He studied for a PhD at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City, worked as a posdoctoral researcher at the Institutte of Scientific Instruments in Brno, Czech Republic, and at UNAM. Since 2014 he joined the group of Optical Micromanipulation at the Institute of Physics in UNAM.

He is interested in optical micromanipulation and related research fields. His latest research deals with the transport of Brownian particles in optical landscapes under breaking space-time symmetries, a system which is known in the literature as ratchets. He is also interested in the behavior of microscopic particles in structured light fields with spin and orbital angular momentum.