Keynote Speaker - Robotic FluidFM in the Nanobiosensorics Lab: from large-area printing to high-throughput adhesion and injection of single cells - Session Mechanobiology
9/6/23, 10:15 AM - 9/6/23, 10:50 AM (Europe/Zurich) (35 minutes)

Dr. Robert Horvarth

Find out more about Robert's research

Read our interview with Robert to find out how his group's pioneering work with FluidFM technology in the field of Mechanobiology and measurement of single cell adhesion forces.


To deeply understand cellular processes at the molecular scale one needs reliable kinetic and structural data, not affected by additional labeling. The Nanobiosensorics Laboratory focuses on the development and application of label-free optical biosensors and combines these technologies with single-cell manipulation techniques. In the present talk, I summarize the main application areas where the robotic FluidFM system (Omnium) was successfully integrated into our research lines. Specifically,  the printing of cell adhesion peptide motifs on a biomimetic hydrogel-based interface using FluidFM microprobes. Using the FluidFM system, we calibrated the label-free optical biosensor signals of adhering cancer cells to correspond with the adhesion force. Leveraging this force-calibrated sensor, we were able to determine the adhesion force distribution of large cell populations, shedding light on time-dependent population changes. Additionally, we delved into investigating the cell cycle of cancer cells and expanded our research to more complex systems, such as epithelial layers with adhering cancer cells on top. Furthermore, we successfully employed microbeads and robotic FluidFM to force-calibrate another high-throughput device, the computer-controlled micropipette, for applications in colloidal force spectroscopy. Some applications of the method to inject nanoparticles into single cells will also be highlighted. 

Session: Mechanobiology

About Robert Horvath

Robert Horvath is a physicist specializing in biophysics. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from Eötvös University, Hungary, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. During his PhD studies, he focused on developing an OWLS biosensor and applying the technique to various problems in biophysics and biology. As a visiting PhD student at the Graduate School of Biophysics (Copenhagen University, Denmark), he gained experience in micro- and nano-fabrication of polymeric materials and conducted theoretical and experimental work on novel waveguide sensor configurations, including the reverse symmetry waveguide.

     Starting in November 2001, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Optics and Plasma Research Department at the Risø National Laboratory in Denmark, where he developed advanced biosensors for bacterial detection. In 2004, he received a two-year Talent Project Award from the Danish Technical Research Council to investigate surface-cell interactions in bioassays. From 2006, he held a Marie Curie EIF Fellowship at Cranfield University, England, working on the OPTICELL project. This project focused on studying protein structural order, surface adsorption, and stem cell adhesion and behavior on nanosurfaces using label-free optical biosensors under the guidance of Professor Jeremy J Ramsden.

     Robert received a three-year fellowship from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) and a Marie Curie Reintegration Grant to join the Photonics Division of MFA from October 2008. In 2012, he was awarded the Momentum Award for Excellence by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and became the head of the Nanobiosensorics Laboratory. The laboratory's activities encompass all aspects of label-free biosensing, ranging from theory to device fabrication and future applications, such as the detection and characterization of protein and polyelectrolyte multilayer films, bacteria, and living cells. Their present focus is on single-cell label-free biosensing and manipulation using resonant waveguide gratings, FluidFM, and computer-controlled micropipette.