Viscoelastic parameters of hydrogel tissue models

Abstract number
European Microscopy Congress 2020 Invited Speakers
Corresponding Email
[email protected]
LST.8 - Brillouin Light Scattering Spectroscopy
Prof Francesca Palombo (1), Ms Michelle Bailey (1), Prof Peter Winlove (1), Prof Daniele Fioretto (2)
1. University of Exeter
2. University of Perugia

Biomechanics, cell, compressibility, photonics, relaxation dynamics, tissue phantoms

Abstract text

Mechanical forces play an integral role in tissue function. Optical elastography methods [1] that use optics to map the micromechanical properties of living cells and tissues such as Brillouin microscopy have shown particular promise for a wide range of biological and medical applications [2]. Despite the demonstrated capabilities of Brillouin microscopy to correlate with functional properties, it is yet to be established what is the biological significance and the information content of the signals in biological matter including living cells and tissues. Here we investigate these questions using gelatin as a model system in which the macroscopic mechanical properties can be manipulated to mimic all the relevant biological states of matter, ranging from the liquid to the gel and glassy phase [3]. We demonstrate that Brillouin spectroscopy is a powerful tool to reveal both the elastic and viscous properties of biomaterials that are central to their biological functions.


[1] B F Kennedy et al, Nat. Photon. (2017) 11, p. 215. 

[2] F Palombo and D Fioretto, Chem. Rev. (2019), 119, p. 7833. 

[3] M Bailey et al, arXiv:1912.08292.

The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M028739/1) and jointly by Cancer Research UK (NS/A000063/1). MB was also supported by the EU COST Action BioBrillouin (CA16124) for a Short Term Scientific Mission at DF's lab.