Brillouin Light Scattering Microspectroscopy for Biology and Biomedical Research & Applications


  • Duration: May 2017 – April 2021
  • Funded by: EU
  • Program: COST
  • Partners: VBCF (Action Main Proposer, Austria), 23 other countries
  • Total project costs: ~ € 130,000/year


The Action “Brillouin Light Scattering Microspectroscopy for Biological and Biomedical Research & Applications” (BioBrillouin), will establish a collaborative network of leading researchers and instrument developers working in the field of Brillouin Light Scattering Spectroscopy (BLSS) applied to the life sciences and health-related problems.

BLSS uses visible or infrared light from a laser source(s) to probe the mechanics of a material through light scattering from thermally-induced acoustic modes, or phonons. It gives access to the viscoelasticity and structure of matter in a non-destructive contactless way. When coupled to optical (confocal) microscopy, it has proven to be particularly well suited for biomedical applications. Though an established tool in condensed matter physics, only more recently has BLSS seen promising applications in the life sciences and medical diagnostics. This can largely be attributed to advances in instrument (spectrometer) design coupled with increasing interest in the biomechanics of cells and tissues and their relation to disease, underlying genetics, and biochemistry. Unlike other mechanical and rheological measurement techniques, BLSS probes mechanical properties in the GHz frequency range, and thus offers a new ‘window’ for the investigation of microscopic scale biomechanical information.

There are now a significant and increasing number of researchers actively working in BLSS for biomedical research in Europe. It is the aim of this COST action to bring together, for the first time, the diverse community working in the field, which includes instrument developers, physicists, chemists, biologists, and clinicians, with the core aim to stimulate collaboration, promote technological advancement and pave the way towards routine life science research and clinical applications.