Women In Microwaves Panel Session and Network Event (IMS and IMBioC joint event)

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Location: Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts

Time: 19:00-21:00


Working at the frontier of engineer and biology : focus on linear and non-linear optical microspectroscopy to understand electropulsation mechanisms on cells

C. Merla, A. Azan, B. Attal-Tretout, and L. M. Mir


Caterina Merla received M.D. in Electronic Engineering in 2004. She performed a PhD. in Electronic Engineering at “Sapienza” University of Rome working on modeling the electric field distribution on biological cells for bioelectromagnetic studies (microdosimetry). She worked in different laboratories both in Europe and in US developing electronic devices (high voltage pulse generators) exposure setups, and microfluidic micro-chambers for studying cells responses (i.e. permeabilization) under the action of nanosecond pulsed electric fields. She obtained a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (OPTIC BIOEM ga. 661041) from the European Union on combining non-linear optical imaging techniques with electric field exposure to understand basic mechanism of cell electropermeabilization. She is a researcher at the Italian National Agency for Energy and New Technology (ENEA) working at the interface between electronic, electromagnetism with biology and medicine. Now, she is involved in developing new electromagnetic devices and treatments to target cancer stem cells (UE FET-OPEN SUMCASTEC ga. 737164).

The provided talk will summarize the main carrier and scientific achievements of Dr. Merla highlighting her ability to work at the frontier of engineer and biology adopting a strong multidisciplinary approach to face a number of ambitious challenges.

In talk, it will be given also emphasis to the presentation of a new experimental setup combining a wide-field Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) microscope with a wide band coplanar waveguide. This setup allows to acquire CARS hyper-spectra of specific Raman bands of cells and liposomes simultaneously exposed to high amplitude ultra-short (nanosecond duration) electric pulses. The obtained CARS spectra of different bio-sample will be discussed and interpreted on the light of the O-H symmetric/asymmetric stretch vibrations and contribution of CH bounds, comparing exposed and un-exposed samples. This innovative experimental approach demonstrates the powerful use of a multidisciplinary approach combining electromagnetism, photonics and biology to experimentally understand molecular bases of complex biophysical phenomena such as cell electropermeabilization.