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Nanoscale vibrations pioneering for detection of living organisms

  • July 13, 2020

An optical nanomotion detection method developed at Vrije Universiteit Brussel with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland shows that living yeast cells exhibit specific nanometre-scale cell movement. Professor Ronnie Willaert and his international team characterised this cellular nanomotion pattern using a classic optical microscope equipped with a video camera.

The simplicity of the technique paves the way for numerous applications, including susceptibility testing for antibiotics, personalised medicine for the selection of chemotherapy drugs, and the development of new fungicides to tackle fungal plant disease. The nanomotion pattern of living cells can also be considered a signature of a living organism and could therefore be used to detect life in the solar system and beyond.

Read more on VUB Today and HLN. Read the article on ScienceAdvances.