PicoQuant´s Workshop on Single Molecule Spectroscopy
The presentations showed that new applications and methods in the field still emerge
Berlin (Germany) September 25, 2012 – Once more, PicoQuant’s annual workshop on “Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Ultrasensitive Analysis in the Life Sciences” brought together more than 100 researchers from around the globe to discuss latest results, projects and ideas in the German capital city of Berlin. From September 5 to 7, 2012, participants enjoyed 37 highly up-to-date talks, including lectures given by six renowned scientists and two poster sessions with a total of 41 posters.
Participants benefited from oral presentations and poster sessions which led to lively discussions and an open scientific exchange. Social events like a reception on the first night and a dinner on the second gave attendees additional opportunities to share scientific know-how in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
In addition to biological applications of fluorescence techniques based on FLIM, FRET, FCS and anisotropy, one key topic included latest developments in superresolution microscopy techniques like dSTORM, PALM and SOFI. Beside the continuous developments in labeling strategies covered e.g. by a presentation of Edward Lemke from EMBL Heidelberg, Germany, special highlights included the focus on quantitative biology in live cells and on the extension of existing analysis schemes in order to achieve even higher resolution. Consistently with the widespread applications of superresolution microscopy, the development of ‘rulers’ as fluorescence standards for superresolution techniques based on DNA origami were presented. This year’s program also included the topic of material sciences. Professor G. Ulrich Nienhaus from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, for example, presented investigations of interactions between nanoparticles and biomatter down to the molecular level.
As in previous years, PicoQuant awarded a special prize for the best student talk intending to support young researchers in their scientific work. It proved extremely difficult for the jury to nominate the winner from so many excellent contributions. Therefore, the prize of 900 Euro was split between three candidates: Sigrid Milles (EMBL Heidelberg, Germany) who gave a talk on “Nup153 in nuclear transport – plasticity of a highly flexible nucleoporin”, Stefan Geissbühler (EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland) who spoke about “Balanced Super-resolution Optical Fluctuation Imaging” and Bengt Wunderlich (University of Zürich, Switzerland) who presented his work on “Microfluidic Mixing and Sorting for Single Molecule Detection”.
The workshop closed with concluding remarks from Edward Lemke who summarized that many presentations dealt with real biological problems instead of standard samples that demonstrate the capabilities of the technique itself. He pointed out that “nonetheless, new applications and new methods still emerge, especially pushed by using combinations of different techniques.”
After eighteen years, PicoQuant’s annual workshop is still one of the leading venues worldwide for the discussion of the latest developments in ultrasensitive optical detection and microscopy down to the single-molecule level. Its aim is to provide an interdisciplinary platform for users as well as developers from Physics, Chemistry and Biology to share their experience, exchange information and report their recent findings. In 2013 the workshop will take place from September 4 to 6 in Berlin, Germany.
PicoQuant GmbH is a research and development company in the field of optoelectronics. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in the Technology Park Berlin-Adlershof, Germany. The company is a worldwide leader in the field of single photon counting applications. The product line includes pulsed diode lasers and LEDs, photon counting instrumentation, fluorescence lifetime spectrometers and time-resolved confocal microscopes. PicoQuant employs currently around 50 people. Since April 2008 Sales and Support in North America is handled by PicoQuant Photonics North America Inc.
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