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Physics Colloquium: Barbora Špačková: Label-free single-molecule imaging

Nov 17, 2023 | 03:00 PM c.t.
Barbora Špačková

Barbora Špačková
Image Credit: Aykut Argun

Czech Academy of Sciences (FZU), Institute of Physics, Laboratory of Biophotonics, Prague, Czech Republic


In this lecture, Dr. Barbora Špačková will present her research in the field of biomolecular behavior at single-molecule level. Her presentation will focus on Nanofluidic Scattering Microscopy, a technique that enables direct observation of individual biomolecules in their natural state without the need for labeling or chemical modification

Diffusion of biomolecules and their interactions orchestrate the cellular processes that are essential to life. However, direct observation and study of these bimolecular behavior at the single molecule level have been a significant challenge. The difficulty stems from the extremely small light scattering efficiency of a biomolecule combined with its fast Brownian motion. Single molecule imaging methods have traditionally relied on fluorescent labelling but this approach has several drawbacks, including potential to alter the natural behavior of the biomolecule and the limitation of detecting only pre-defined entities.

I will present a technique - Nanofluidic Scattering Microscopy – that overcomes these limitations. It enables direct observation of individual biomolecules in their native state without the need for labelling or chemical modification. This method operates in real-time and in physiologically relevant conditions and relies solely on visible light to image the biomolecules inside a nanofluidic chip. Moreover, this technique can provide continuous molecular weight, size, and conformation measurements of every single molecule imaged. Thereby, we can determine distribution of individual populations in heterogenous sample, monitor dynamic biomolecular changes, or detect molecular binding and unbinding. These capabilities provide critical insights into biological processes and biophysical interactions at the single molecule level, with the potential to inspire new strategies for early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.

Time & Location

Nov 17, 2023 | 03:00 PM c.t.

Lecture Hall B (0.1.01)
Department of Physics
Arnimallee 14
14195 Berlin

Further Information


Prof. Dr. Cecilia Clementi


  • Barbora Špačková
  • biochemistry
  • biophysics
  • light-matter interaction
  • mass-transport
  • Nanofluidic Scattering Microscopy
  • nanofluidics
  • nanooptics
  • nanoscale physics
  • single-molecule optics