Serwane Group

Mechanobiology - Neuronal Networks

Our team integrates concepts of physics and biology to develop a model system for a retinal neuronal network.
The high accessibility and tunability of our in vitro system will allow us to address fundamental questions at the interface between physics and biology:

  • What are the mechanical cues that guide the self-organization of retina tissues?
  • How are light-induced neuronal signals processed within these tissues?
  • Can we use these systems as powerful in vitro disease models?

To address these questions we join forces with the Soft Condensed Matter Group at the Department of Physics at LMU and the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy). In addition, we are collaborating with the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg.

To illuminate the role of mechanics, we will use ferrofluid droplets as mechanical actuators, a technique which has been developed by us (Serwane et al., Nature Methods, 2017) and has been used to understand the role of mechanics in 3D developing tissues (Mongera et al., Nature 2018).

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Group members

Name Position
Brinkop, Achim PhD Student
Rogler, Teresa PhD Student
Serwane, Friedhelm Chair of Experimental Physics - Soft Condensed Matter
Shelton, Elijah Postdoc
Frischmann, Michael PhD Student

Theses collection


  • Light-sheet microscopy of 3D activity in neural organoids, 2022


  • Quantification of Glioblastoma Mechanics in Brain Organoids Using Ferrofluid Droplets, 2023
  • Statistical Analysis of Network Activity in Mouse Retinal Organoids, 2023
  • An Open-top Oblique Light-sheet Microscope for Neural Network Imaging, 2023
  • A Scalable Pipeline for Volumetric Calcium Imaging Analysis, 2022

Molecular Biotechnology

  • Characterization of Amyloid β plaque formation in vitro, 2022


  • Simulation and Development of a Microfluidic Biochip to Cultivate Organoids, 2022


  • An incubation chamber for retinal organoid imaging, 2017