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5th Virtual BioBrillouin Meeting

Member Area

- , Virtual

It is our honor to welcome you to the 5th edition of the BioBrillouin Meeting – BBM5, the annual meeting focused on Brillouin Light Scattering (BLS) Spectroscopy for life sciences and biomedical applications. 

This year, the meeting will take place back-to-back with the training school. Separate registration/application for the two events is however required. Both events will be held entirely virtually* (via Zoom). Registration is free for BBM5 (but required).

BBM5 will be spread out over three days (12-14th October). Due to the majority of anticipated participants being based in Europe and the USA, scheduling will be such that all events occur in the morning (in the Americas), afternoon (in Europe/Africa) and ~evening (in Asia/Oceania). A detailed program, which will depend on the number of abstracts, will be made available in September. In addition to talks, posters (and treasure hunt**), there will also be a number of discussion break-out-rooms for discussing topics of interest for each session. 

The BBM5 Training School is deliberately just before the meeting to give the opportunity of those new in the field to get a crash course on the theoretical and practical aspects and “state of the art”. The dense schedule will consist of presentations and discussion sections by leading researchers in the field, video demo’s of instruments in different labs around the world and Q&A sessions with the demonstrators. (For more information, see HERE)

Whether you are new to Brillouin Light Scattering for life science applications, or a seasoned member of the BioBrillouin Network, we hope you will enjoy this meeting, where you will hear about, and be able to present/discuss, some of the latest advances in the field! 

This meeting will also mark the inauguration of the BioBrillouin Society, details of which will be presented during the conference. 

On behalf of the Organizers and the BBM5 Scientific Committee, we look forward to meeting you virtually! 

16th July 2021, Vienna, Austria.

As a result of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding European and International travel due to COVID-19, to avert any potential changes in plans (and not make the headlines as a “super-spreader” event) this year’s meeting and training school will be held entirely virtually, that is hosted from Vienna, Austria. We intend to return to physical meetings in 2022. 

** A kind of scientific treasure hunt in an old virtual Vienna (where if we succeed we all apparently end up in a virtual “gasthaus” – that’s a local restaurant/pub), in case you are curious.


Organizing Committee

Chair, Scientific Representative

Kareem Elsayad

Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities

Vienna, Austria

Vice Chair

Francesca Palombo

University of Exeter

Exeter, United Kingdom

Work Group Leader

Robert Prevedel

European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Heidelberg, Germany

Work Group Leader

Thomas Dehoux

University de Lyon

Lyon, France

Work Group Leader

Daniele Fioretto

Università degli Studi di Perugia

Perugia, Italy

Work Group Leader

Stephen Malin

Karolinska Insitutet Department of medicine

Stockholm, Sweden

STSM Coordinator

Thorsten Hamann

Norwegian University of Science and Technology Department of Biology

Trondheim, Norway

Work Group Leader

Celia de Sousa

Universidade do Porto - IFIMUP/IN

Porto, Portugal

Submit poster abstract

+ register for BBM5

Apply for BBM5 Training School

Register for BBM5

(without submitting abstract)

Download Meeting Flyer

Important dates

Abstract submission Deadline

“Late Poster” submission

Training School Application Deadline

Registration Deadline


BBM5 Training School


5th BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM5)

Core themes for BioBrillouin Meetings

  1. Clinical & medical applications of BLS,

  2. Novel life-science & phenotyping applications of BLS, 

  3. Advances in BLS instrument design and data analysis, 

  4. Correlative (BLS+X) approaches and applications, 

  5. Fundamental considerations pertaining to interpretation of BLS data.

Topics falling outside these core topics, yet still relevant to BLS for the life-/biomedical-sciences, are however equally welcome. 

Poster presentations

Presentations selected for posters will be asked to pre-record a 3-5 minute recording explaining key findings in their poster. Instructions on how to easily produce such a recording and acceptable formats will be provided together with notifications on acceptance of abstracts. These will be played on the first day of the meeting (19:00 12th October – see program). Immediately after the poster presentations there will be a Q&A/discussion session where conference participants can ask questions pertaining to the posters, and which poster presenters should attend.

Invited Speakers

Giuliano Scarcelli

University of Maryland


Irina Kabakova

University of Technology Sydney


Silvia Caponi

Istituto Officina dei Materiali c/o Dipartimento di Fisica e Geologia

Perugia, Italy

Xavier Trepat

Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia

Barcelona, Spain

Massimo Vassalli

University of Glasgow

United Kingdom

Joerg Baller

University of Luxembourg


Work Group Leader

Thomas Dehoux

University de Lyon

Lyon, France

Jürgen W. Czarske

TU Dresden

Dresden, Germany

Felipe Ademir Aleman Hernandez

University of Gothenburg


John Sandercock

Table Stable Ltd.


Vladislav Yakovlev

Texas A&M University


Amira Madeleine Eltony

Harvard University


Stephanie Möllmert

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light



Download program PDF (472.04 KB)


What does it cost to attend the BBM5?

Your time and dedication. The BioBrillouin Meeting is free of charge this year. Registration before the deadline is however required.

When and how will I know if my abstract is accepted?

If you submitted an abstract for an oral presentation, on the 21st September 2021 and via email (if you have not heard from us by the 23rd September, contact us ASAP at the below email address). If you have submitted a poster abstract, you will hear from us within 2 days of submission.

Can I submit more than one abstract where I am first author?

Yes. We congratulate you in advance for being so productive during a by all measures very difficult year.

I want to also attend the Training School. Is a separate registration required for this and BBM5?

Yes, it requires a separate application via the above link (“Apply for Training School“). Conversely, if you apply for the training school you are also not automatically registered for the BBM5 meeting (the two should be considered as separate events that just happen to be back-to-back).

So what is this BioBrillouin thing anyway?

The fact that you got this far down the page means that you are at least slightly interested (or curious), so an explanation is in order. Brillouin Light Scattering (or Mandelstam-Brillouin Light Scattering), involves the inelastic scattering of light from collective high-frequency (~GHz) density fluctuations. BLS spectroscopy concerns itself with measuring the energy and lifetime of these fluctuations, which in turn can be used to extract the viscoelastic properties of a material. It was theoretically predicted and observed already around a century ago (next year actually marks an anniversary). Following the commercialization of lasers, it has become a routine, albeit somewhat niche, tool in the physical sciences. It was only over the last decade that instrumentation has become conducive to performing routine microscopic imaging of living biological systems. This has opened up a Pandora’s box of questions, challenges and opportunities. 

Despite the huge potential that one can guess comes with being able to label-free all-optically map the viscoelasticity in 3D (driven also by the rapidly growing fields of mechanobiology and biomechanics), “BioBrillouin” is still in its infancy and not without its growing pains. On the one hand, BLS instrumentation is still not always gentle enough, fast enough or user-friendly enough for many life science and medical applications. On the other hand, interpretation of the measured quantities in complex active materials is all but trivial, and can require other unkown a priori information which in certain cases may be extracted using complementary methods. While undeniably establishing a bottom-up sound foundation for the significance of the measured quantities in biological processes is important, the application of BLS microscopy to more and more biological and biomedical systems can also provide insight into its significance, as well as to uncover potential biomedical and phenotyping applications that may in of themselves lead to application with health/societal/technological benefits. 

With all these challenges/questions/opportunities in mind, the BioBrillouin Network was formed in 2016 by some dedicated individual and, funded by some generous EU grants, has met annually to present progress in these areas, stimulate conversation and promote collaborations. This meeting marks the continuation of this network. (You can still join the network HERE and get on the mailing list). Every year the network also organizes a hands-on training school at a separate date and venue, which introduces the technicalities and principles of BLS for life science applications to those new to the field. This year the plan was to have them back-to-back to “save travel costs” (and thereby also the environment). This of course proved to be redundant with the required virtual nature of both events.

A BioBrillouin Society – really?

Yes, really. Our current funding for these events is slowly drying up and we–like every blue-eyed teenager leaving home for the first time–need to learn to stand on our own two feet, and find a way to somehow support ourselves also financially if we want to continue the way we did. The establishment of an independent legal entity seems the logical progression and long-term solution (although we will not hesitate to jump at any suitable funding opportunities that present themselves). This has of course been pioneered in other, conceptually not too different, fields (Raman/vibrational spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography, etc.). The BioBrillouin Society is just that. Following extensive surveys, the Core Group of the BioBrillouin Network have spent the last year exploring the logistics, financial and legal details, and have come up with a suitable framework in line with what is desired by the majority of the network, and flexible to evolutions the field may undergo in the coming years. This will be presented at the BBM5 meeting.

Can you [financially] refund me for attending this meeting?

No, given there are no travel expenses. The fact that it is free for you (despite the never-the-less significant organizational costs) is in our opinion a luxury, for which you should thank our generous sponsors.


All queries should be addressed to: 5thBioBrillouinMeeting [at]