Inventor uses innovative technical solutions to expand the possibilities of studying cells

Vratislav Čmiel, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering FEEC BUT, has received the Czechoslovak Microscopic Society Award for his research of cardiomyocytes and their properties. He has brought both new results and interesting technical solutions and innovations in the field of microscopy. For the last 10 years, he has been developing the field of biophysics for the last 10years, and now he teaches fluorescence microscopy and living tissue advanced analysis.

Vratislav Čmiel’s research work was awarded for its unconventional combination of techniques and various inventions. Čmiel described what made his work unique: ‘I used both standard and advanced microscopes and my work techniques with them were also advanced. Moreover, I have created, for example, optical hubs so that I could use two cameras at the same time. I have gained interesting data and created new processes that have proven themselves in practice.’ Read about the whole story (in Czech) of Čmiel’s invention at zvut.cz.

Researcher Larisa Baiazitova visualises endothelia cells | Photo: UBMI repository

According to the award-winning researcher, biophysics and biomedicine are unique and very complex disciplines that include biology, technical skills, knowledge of laboratory work, and the ability to measure and analyse data. ‘Compared to routine basic research, we are able to perform advanced measurement to obtain more complex analyses and accurate results. We work with both signals and pictures. To do that, we need quality microscopes, fast and sensitive cameras or microelectrode fields. Besides that, however, we also need to use our inventiveness to connect different devices and to create some electromechanical elements ourselves,’ Čmiel stated, adding that the team of his specialists in experimental microscopic technology for cell engineering is mostly focused on pre-clinical testing of cells and tissues.

BUT students can now undertake a bachelor’s and master’s degree course in the basics of cell biophysics and electrophysiology. ‘Currently we are also preparing a more specialised course for master’s students, focusing on tissue engineering,’ Čmiel noted. At the same time, the institute plans to support master’s and, in particular, doctoral students in biophysical research. According to Vratislav Čmiel, there is still a lack of young researchers in this field.

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