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Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) applied to complex fluid-fluid interfaces.

English title Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) applied to complex fluid-fluid interfaces.
Applicant Vermant Jan
Number 170745
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Departement Materialwissenschaft ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Material Sciences
Start/End 01.05.2017 - 31.10.2018
Approved amount 175'000.00
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Keywords (2)

CARS microscopy ; fluid-fluid interfaces

Lay Summary (French)

Microscopie au "contrast chimique"
Lay summary

Avec ce projet on améliorera l'infrastructure pour des investigations microscopique de la matière et les systèmes biologiques. On cherche a moderniser un appareil qui est u sein du service centrale pour la microscopie al'EPF de Zurich (SCOPEM). Une technique, qui s'appelle CARS (acronyme anglais pour Coherent anti-Stokes Raman
scattering) permet d'obtenir des images dont le contraste est basé sur la présence de modes vibrationnels
intramoléculaires particuliers, donc une contrats basée sur la chimie des molecules. 

La technique sera utilisée dans les domaines de la science des matériaux, les systèmes biologiques comme les membranes cellulaires et des applications dans la recherche pharmaceutique. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 17.01.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Toward Realistic Large-Area Cell Membrane Mimics: Excluding Oil, Controlling Composition, and Including Ion Channels
Beltramo Peter J., Scheidegger Laura, Vermant Jan (2018), Toward Realistic Large-Area Cell Membrane Mimics: Excluding Oil, Controlling Composition, and Including Ion Channels, in Langmuir, 34(20), 5880-5888.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
AICHE meeting 2017 Talk given at a conference High Resolution Optical and Electrical Recording of Free Standing Lipid Bilayers 01.11.2017 Minneapolis, United States of America Vermant Jan;
Eur Biophys J (2017) 46 (Suppl 1):S3–S15 DOI 10.1007/s00249-017-1219-5 19 th IUP AB Biophysics Congress 11 th EBSA European Biophysics Congress Talk given at a conference A microfluidic platform to study model biomembranes 16.07.2017 Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Great Britain and Northern Ireland Vermant Jan;

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172824 Physical Mechanisms Underlying the Structure and Rheology of Living Materials 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
165974 Rheology of Lipid Bilayers 01.09.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)


With this proposal we are seeking support to upgrade an existing laser scanning confocal microscope with CARS (Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering) imag-ing capability. This upgrade would allow the fast, label free imaging of various materials based on chemical contrast. In particular we intend to focus on bio-molecules, such as lipids, with newly developed sample environments, which enable measurements of a wide range of fundamental problems in membrane biophysics and materials science. In particular we aim to investigate mono- and bilayers that can be viewed as exquisite examples of successful self-assembly. In monolayers we intend to investigate packing problems at very high coverage with applications to lung surfactants. Model biomembrane systems have been exten-sively studied to elucidate fundamental biological processes, and as a result there are several routes to in vitro bilayer fabrication. We have recently devel-oped a new platform to create large area membrane bilayers that incorporates the different capabilities of the existing methods into one technology to enable novel studies of membrane mechanics, structure, and function, which would be ideally suited for CARS studies. The planar configuration facilitates experiments based on microscopy, for exam-ple in the detection of lipid domains or rafts, particle adsorption and transduc-tion through interfaces, micro-rheology, or fluorescent molecule adsorption and translocation, which can be performed at controlled membrane tension and composition. The free standing nature of the membrane allows independent access to both sides of the bilayer for the application of osmotic, thermal, chem-ical or hydrostatic pressure gradients. Minimal model bio-membrane studies have the potential to unlock the fundamental mechanisms of cellular function, from a materials science perspective.The upgrade of the confocal system would at the same time extend also the reg-ular capabilities of the system with multi-photon imaging. According our knowledge currently there is no such system available in Switzerland so the planned upgrade would offer unique opportunities to researchers in Switzerland. Within ETH the instrument will be made available through the central imaging facility ScopeM. The range of potential and interested users within the ETH alone is already very broad, and we have listed a set of potential usages.