HIPS Talk: “Microscopy-based tools to optimize biofilm treatment”

Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at 16:30 s.t. in Bldg E8.1, Seminar Room (Ground Floor)

Dr. Mathias Müsken (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research) will give a presentation entitled
“Microscopy-based tools to optimize biofilm treatment”

When?: Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at 16:30 s.t.
Where?: in Bldg E8.1, Seminar Room (Ground Floor)
Host: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Titz  

There is opportunity to talk with the speaker before the talk.   
For details and for making appointments please contact Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Titz at 0681-98806-2500 or per email: alexander.titz@helmholtz-hips.de  
Guests are welcome!

Bacterial biofilms, through their increased resistance to antimicrobials, are the source of many chronic infections. Adapted and biofilm-specific therapy is, however, still not applicable in routine diagnostics due to missing tools. We therefore successfully established a static microtiter plate-based microscopic assay to determine biofilm resistance profiles of various drugs used in inhalative therapy against clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. Despite a clear advantage of the usage of colistin against the majority of isolates, the data showed the need for individual testing. In addition, we optimized a continuous flow model to follow antimicrobial activity “online” to receive spatiotemporal information about killing and regrowth pattern within the biofilm, which enabled the optimization of treatment regimens with a combination of colistin and
tobramycin in vitro as well as in vivo. The large collection of in vitro data is currently implemented in an agent-based, in silico model by the group of Prof. Meyer-Hermann. In parallel, we are going to expand the established assay to test other antimicrobial / anti-biofilm compounds. In addition, we will increase complexity of the biofilm community by adding additional CF-relevant organisms to mimic the multi-species surrounding in the CF lung and analyze the community by both, light and electron microscopy methods.

Between 2000 and 2006, Mathias studied Molecular Biotechnology in Bielefeld, including an ERASMUS exchange to the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Back in Bielefeld, he performed his diploma thesis in the biological department under supervision of Prof. Alfred Pühler and Dr. Andreas Tauch. As he really liked working with microorganism, he choose to further deal with them, especially the pathogenic ones. Mathias started a PhD at the HZI in the group of Dr. Susanne Häußler in 2006. Fascinated by simply watching Pseudomonas aeruginosa moving under a fluorescence microscope in the beginning of his PhD, he wanted to delve deeper into the world of microscopy. He got the chance to focus his projects on image-based technologies. Spending many hours in front of the microscopes at the HZI and with the collaboration partner Dr. Stefano di Fiore at the Fraunhofer Institute in Aachen, Mathias was able to establish new tools for the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of P. aeruginosa biofilms by the end of his PhD. During his PhD Mathias moved to Sweden for a half a year to work in the group of Prof. Römling at the Karolinska Instiute. In 2010, he returned as a postdoc together with Prof. Häußler from the HZI to the Twincore (Institute of Molecular Bacteriology). There he worked on confocal microscopy looking for new anti-biofilm compounds. In 2017 Mathias joined the Central Facility for Microscopy at the HZI headed by Prof. Manfred Rohde, working with electron microscopy and correlative approaches bridging both, the world of light and electron microscopy. In addition, Mathias shares his experience and fascination for microscopy and its large repertoire of methods. He is also happy he can approach new ideas: the increase of biofilm complexity to mimic the clinical setting and the improvement of image analysis tools to allow AI-based interpretation of biofilm treatment data.