MORPHO-TOX Integration of morphological and biological correlates using optical methods of toxicity analysis



Fluorescence intensity (left) and mean fluorescence lifetime (right) of the ganglion cell layer of the retina of an ex vivo sample from a young pig (white bar: 20 µm). The cell bodies and cell nuclei can be easily separated from the environment due to their different fluorescence lifetimes.

It is of great fundamental medical importance to be able to recognize biological toxicity reactions in cells and tissues at an early stage. Efficient and fast optical, spectroscopic, multimodal methods are a promising approach here. The project combines modern genetic methods based on CRISPR / Cas9 technology and biochemical processes with multimodal optical-spectroscopic analyzation methods (including e.g. fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime imaging) in order to develop an innovative data processing framework that can efficiently, quickly and specifically classify such reactions.

For this purpose, methods of artificial intelligence, such as machine learning and deep learning, are researched and adapted for multimodal optical-spectroscopic data. The results are a potential starting point for diagnostic procedures, in the development of new drugs and future medical technology devices. We expect the results of this interdisciplinary research group to provide valuable impetus for Thuringia as a location for medical technology.

Project partners

Unternehmensbeirat für 2019 FGR 0083


  • Eugen Ermantraut, Member of the Board BLINK AG


  • Dr.-Ing. Jörg Weber, Geschäftsführer, Biophotonics Diagnostics GmbH
  • Dominik Driesch, Geschäftsführer, Biocontrol Jena GmbH
  • Dr.-Ing. Walthard Vilser, Geschäftsführer, IMEDOS Systems GmbH
  • Dr. Eike Dazert, Geschäftsführerin, medays e.V.
  • Dr. Holger Becker, Chief Scientific Officer, microfluidoc ChipShop GmbH
  • Dr. Marc Lehmann, Geschäftsführer, SmartDyeLivery GmbH
  • Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann, Senior Director Business Sector Life Sciences, Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH