Dr Jochen Guck

Jochen Guck

University position


Dr Jochen Guck is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physics


Physics of Medicine



Home page

http://www.bss.phy.cam.ac.uk/~jg473/ (personal home page)

Research Themes

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Developmental Neuroscience


The paradigm that neurons in the CNS cannot regenerate is gone. While most research to date is biochemical, there are also physical aspects that need to be considered. We are developing tools to investigate axonal growth and to direct in a certain direction using physical stimuli. We are also investigating the importance of mechanical cues for normal differentiation and axonal pathfinding during development and after trauma. Specifically, we want to find out whether glial scars present after injury pose mechanical barriers to nerve regeneration. More generally, we are interested in the mechanical and optical properties of living cells and tissues using novel photonic tools to test their relevance and importance for biological function. Towards this end we could show that the deformability of cells can be used as a sensitive inherent marker for cancer diagnosis and sorting of stem cells and that glial cells in the retina act as living optical light guides (see image below).

Müller cells, the glial cells of the retina, function as living optical fibers and channel the light through the inverted vertebrate retina to the photoreceptor cells at the far side.
Müller cells, the glial cells of the retina, function as living optical fibers and channel the light through the inverted vertebrate retina to the photoreceptor cells at the far side.
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus







Clinical conditions


Spinal cord injury

Traumatic brain injury


Atomic force microscopy

Calcium imaging

Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy



Optical stretcher

Optical traps



James Fawcett

Robin Franklin

Bill Harris

Christine Holt

Ragnhildur Karadottir

Stephanie Lacour


Andreas Reichenbach Web: http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~pfi/pf...

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Lautenschläger F, Paschke S, Schinkinger S, Bruel A, Beil M, Guck J (2009), “The regulatory role of cell mechanics for migration of differentiating myeloid cells.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(37):15696-701 Details

    Solovei I, Kreysing M, Lanctôt C, Kösem S, Peichl L, Cremer T, Guck J, Joffe B (2009), “Nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells adapts to vision in mammalian evolution.” Cell 137(2):356-68 Details

    Franze K, Grosche J, Skatchkov SN, Schinkinger S, Schild D, Uckermann O, Travis K, Reichenbach A, Guck J (2007), “Müller Cells are Living Optical Fibers in the Vertebrate Retina” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104(20):8287-8292 Details

    Lu Y, Franze K, Seifert G, Steinhäuser Ch, Kirchhoff F, Wolburg H, Guck J, Janmey P, Wei E, Käs J, Reichenbach A (2006), “Viscoelastic properties of individual glial cells and neurons in the CNS” Proc Natl Acad Sci 103(47):17759-177764



    Błaszczak Z, Kreysing M, Guck J (2014), “Direct observation of light focusing by single photoreceptor cell nuclei.” Opt Express 22(9):11043-60 Details

    Chan CJ, Whyte G, Boyde L, Salbreux G, Guck J (2014), “Impact of heating on passive and active biomechanics of suspended cells.” Interface Focus 4(2):20130069 Details

    Francke M, Kreysing M, Mack A, Engelmann J, Karl A, Makarov F, Guck J, Kolle M, Wolburg H, Pusch R, von der Emde G, Schuster S, Wagner HJ, Reichenbach A (2014), “Grouped retinae and tapetal cups in some Teleostian fish: occurrence, structure, and function.” Prog Retin Eye Res 38:43-69 Details

    Kretschmer S, Wolf C, König N, Staroske W, Guck J, Häusler M, Luksch H, Nguyen LA, Kim B, Alexopoulou D, Dahl A, Rapp A, Cardoso MC, Shevchenko A, Lee-Kirsch MA (2014), “SAMHD1 prevents autoimmunity by maintaining genome stability.” Ann Rheum Dis Details

    Moshayedi P, Ng G, Kwok JC, Yeo GS, Bryant CE, Fawcett JW, Franze K, Guck J (2014), “The relationship between glial cell mechanosensitivity and foreign body reactions in the central nervous system.” Biomaterials 35(13):3919-25 Details


    Ekpenyong AE, Man SM, Achouri S, Bryant CE, Guck J, Chalut KJ (2013), “Bacterial infection of macrophages induces decrease in refractive index.” J Biophotonics 6(5):393-7 Details

    Franze K, Janmey PA, Guck J (2013), “Mechanics in neuronal development and repair.” Annu Rev Biomed Eng 15:227-51 Details

    Guck J, Chilvers ER (2013), “Mechanics meets medicine.” Sci Transl Med 5(212):212fs41 Details


    Bellini N, Bragheri F, Cristiani I, Guck J, Osellame R, Whyte G (2012), “Validation and perspectives of a femtosecond laser fabricated monolithic optical stretcher.” Biomed Opt Express 3(10):2658-68 Details

    Boyde L, Ekpenyong A, Whyte G, Guck J (2012), “Comparison of stresses on homogeneous spheroids in the optical stretcher computed with geometrical optics and generalized Lorenz-Mie theory.” Appl Opt 51(33):7934-44 Details

    Chalut KJ, Ekpenyong AE, Clegg WL, Melhuish IC, Guck J (2012), “Quantifying cellular differentiation by physical phenotype using digital holographic microscopy.” Integr Biol (Camb) 4(3):280-4 Details

    Chalut KJ, Höpfler M, Lautenschläger F, Boyde L, Chan CJ, Ekpenyong A, Martinez-Arias A, Guck J (2012), “Chromatin decondensation and nuclear softening accompany Nanog downregulation in embryonic stem cells.” Biophys J 103(10):2060-70 Details

    Ekpenyong AE, Whyte G, Chalut K, Pagliara S, Lautenschläger F, Fiddler C, Paschke S, Keyser UF, Chilvers ER, Guck J (2012), “Viscoelastic properties of differentiating blood cells are fate- and function-dependent.” PLoS One 7(9):e45237 Details

    Jagielska A, Norman AL, Whyte G, Vliet KJ, Guck J, Franklin RJ (2012), “Mechanical environment modulates biological properties of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells.” Stem Cells Dev 21(16):2905-14 Details

    Khuc Trong P, Guck J, Goldstein RE (2012), “Coupling of active motion and advection shapes intracellular cargo transport.” Phys Rev Lett 109(2):028104 Details

    Kreysing M, Pusch R, Haverkate D, Landsberger M, Engelmann J, Ruiter J, Mora-Ferrer C, Ulbricht E, Grosche J, Franze K, Streif S, Schumacher S, Makarov F, Kacza J, Guck J, Wolburg H, Bowmaker JK, von der Emde G, Schuster S, Wagner HJ, Reichenbach A, Francke M (2012), “Photonic crystal light collectors in fish retina improve vision in turbid water.” Science 336(6089):1700-3 Details

    Matthews HK, Delabre U, Rohn JL, Guck J, Kunda P, Baum B (2012), “Changes in Ect2 localization couple actomyosin-dependent cell shape changes to mitotic progression.” Dev Cell 23(2):371-83 Details


    Boyde L, Chalut KJ, Guck J (2011), “Near- and far-field scattering from arbitrary three-dimensional aggregates of coated spheres using parallel computing.” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 83(2 Pt 2):026701 Details

    Boyde L, Chalut KJ, Guck J (2011), “Exact analytical expansion of an off-axis Gaussian laser beam using the translation theorems for the vector spherical harmonics.” Appl Opt 50(7):1023-33 Details

    da Silva J, Lautenschläger F, Kuo CH, Guck J, Sivaniah E (2011), “3D inverted colloidal crystals in realistic cell migration assays for drug screening applications.” Integr Biol (Camb) 3(12):1202-6 Details


    Christ AF, Franze K, Gautier H, Moshayedi P, Fawcett J, Franklin RJ, Karadottir RT, Guck J (2010), “Mechanical difference between white and gray matter in the rat cerebellum measured by scanning force microscopy.” J Biomech 43(15):2986-92 Details

    da Silva J, Lautenschläger F, Sivaniah E, Guck JR (2010), “The cavity-to-cavity migration of leukaemic cells through 3D honey-combed hydrogels with adjustable internal dimension and stiffness.” Biomaterials 31(8):2201-8 Details

    Guck J, Lautenschläger F, Paschke S, Beil M (2010), “Critical review: cellular mechanobiology and amoeboid migration.” Integr Biol (Camb) 2(11-12):575-83 Details

    Kemper B, Langehanenberg P, Höink A, von Bally G, Wottowah F, Schinkinger S, Guck J, Käs J, Bredebusch I, Schnekenburger J, Schütze K (2010), “Monitoring of laser micromanipulated optically trapped cells by digital holographic microscopy.” J Biophotonics 3(7):425-31 Details

    Kreysing M, Boyde L, Guck J, Chalut KJ (2010), “Physical insight into light scattering by photoreceptor cell nuclei.” Opt Lett 35(15):2639-41 Details

    Lim CT, Han J, Guck J, Espinosa H (2010), “Micro and nanotechnology for biological and biomedical applications.” Med Biol Eng Comput 48(10):941-3 Details

    Maloney JM, Nikova D, Lautenschläger F, Clarke E, Langer R, Guck J, Van Vliet KJ (2010), “Mesenchymal stem cell mechanics from the attached to the suspended state.” Biophys J 99(8):2479-87 Details

    Mauritz JM, Esposito A, Tiffert T, Skepper JN, Warley A, Yoon YZ, Cicuta P, Lew VL, Guck JR, Kaminski CF (2010), “Biophotonic techniques for the study of malaria-infected red blood cells.” Med Biol Eng Comput 48(10):1055-63 Details

    Mauritz JM, Tiffert T, Seear R, Lautenschläger F, Esposito A, Lew VL, Guck J, Kaminski CF (2010), “Detection of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells by optical stretching.” J Biomed Opt 15(3):030517 Details

    Moshayedi P, Costa Lda F, Christ A, Lacour SP, Fawcett J, Guck J, Franze K (2010), “Mechanosensitivity of astrocytes on optimized polyacrylamide gels analyzed by quantitative morphometry.” J Phys Condens Matter 22(19):194114 Details


    Boyde L, Chalut KJ, Guck J (2009), “Interaction of Gaussian beam with near-spherical particle: an analytic-numerical approach for assessing scattering and stresses.” J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 26(8):1814-26 Details

    Remmerbach TW, Wottawah F, Dietrich J, Lincoln B, Wittekind C, Guck J (2009), “Oral cancer diagnosis by mechanical phenotyping.” Cancer Res 69(5):1728-32 Details


    Kreysing MK, Kiessling T, Fritsch A, Dietrich C, Guck JR, Käs JA (2008), “The optical cell rotator.” Opt Express 16(21):16984-92 Details


    Ebert S, Travis K, Lincoln B, Guck J (2007), “Fluorescence ratio thermometry in a microfluidic dual-beam laser trap.” Opt Express 15(23):15493-9 Details

    Lincoln B, Schinkinger S, Travis K, Wottawah F, Ebert S, Sauer F, Guck J (2007), “Reconfigurable microfluidic integration of a dual-beam laser trap with biomedical applications.” Biomed Microdevices 9(5):703-10 Details

    Lincoln B, Wottawah F, Schinkinger S, Ebert S, Guck J (2007), “High-throughput rheological measurements with an optical stretcher.” Methods Cell Biol 83:397-423 Details


    Ananthakrishnan R, Guck J, Wottawah F, Schinkinger S, Lincoln B, Romeyke M, Moon T, Käs J (2006), “Quantifying the contribution of actin networks to the elastic strength of fibroblasts.” J Theor Biol 242(2):502-16 Details

    Lu YB, Franze K, Seifert G, Steinhäuser C, Kirchhoff F, Wolburg H, Guck J, Janmey P, Wei EQ, Käs J, Reichenbach A (2006), “Viscoelastic properties of individual glial cells and neurons in the CNS.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103(47):17759-64 Details


    Betz T, Teipel J, Koch D, Härtig W, Guck J, Käs J, Giessen H (2005), “Excitation beyond the monochromatic laser limit: simultaneous 3-D confocal and multiphoton microscopy with a tapered fiber as white-light laser source.” J Biomed Opt 10(5):054009 Details

    Guck J, Schinkinger S, Lincoln B, Wottawah F, Ebert S, Romeyke M, Lenz D, Erickson HM, Ananthakrishnan R, Mitchell D, Käs J, Ulvick S, Bilby C (2005), “Optical deformability as an inherent cell marker for testing malignant transformation and metastatic competence.” Biophys J 88(5):3689-98 Details

    Wottawah F, Schinkinger S, Lincoln B, Ananthakrishnan R, Romeyke M, Guck J, Käs J (2005), “Optical rheology of biological cells.” Phys Rev Lett 94(9):098103 Details

    Wottawah F, Schinkinger S, Lincoln B, Ebert S, Müller K, Sauer F, Travis K, Guck J (2005), “Characterizing single suspended cells by optorheology.” Acta Biomater 1(3):263-71 Details


    Lincoln B, Erickson HM, Schinkinger S, Wottawah F, Mitchell D, Ulvick S, Bilby C, Guck J (2004), “Deformability-based flow cytometry.” Cytometry A 59(2):203-9 Details