Ciao, this is Sebastian (ESR6) speaking! Currently, I am conducting my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Andrew Chan and Prof. Dr. Vincent Pernet at the Neuroimmunology lab at the university hospital of Bern, Switzerland. My primary objective within the Bio2brain consortium is to elucidate mechanisms of antibody transport within the Central Nervous System (CNS) after intranasal delivery and the relevance of autoimmune diseases on the antibody distribution. In order to follow the distribution patterns within the CNS, high-resolution imaging is imperative. Hence, I had the privilege to collaborate with my colleague Marta (ESR7), PhD student at the European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy (LENS) in Florence, Italy where she performs such imaging.

LENS houses a multidisciplinary team comprising physicists, chemists, and biologists working collaboratively to achieve high-resolution imaging and measurements of nanoscale particles. An intriguing technique employed for obtaining three-dimensional information within biological tissue is light sheet microscopy. This necessitates making biological material transparent to light. LENS is using a fascinating method to clear mouse CNS tissue, which holds paramount significance for my project. Witnessing the protocol and observing the transformation of opaque into transparent tissue was truly fascinating. For imaging of these tissues, a normal fluorescence microscope is not optimal. The specialized light sheet microscope generates a sheet of light to scan rapidly and with exceptional resolution through transparent tissue. Isn’t that remarkable? J

I am eagerly anticipating the insights that imaging will provide and how it will aid in elucidating the pathways of intranasally administered antibodies within the CNS.

However, this secondment was not solely focused on work. I had the opportunity to spend time with my colleague Davide, Alberto and Marta. Together, we explored the enchanting city of Florence, visited museums, and savored the local cuisine. I want to thank Marta, Alberto, their supervisor Martino Calamai, and the entire LENS team for ensuring my stay was both productive and enjoyable!

ESRs Sebastian, Davide, Marta, and Alberto @LENS