LSFM2019 – with a focus on organoids

A report on the Light Sheet Microscopy conference in Frankfurt (4-6 December 2019)

In December, the annual Light Sheet Microscopy conference was organized in Frankfurt for the second time and powered by LSFM4LIFE. This year, Francesco Pampaloni and Ernst H.K. Stelzer, the organizers of the meeting, welcomed the participants on Goethe University‘s Riedberg Campus. For 2.5 days instrumentation experts working on various light-sheet techniques, biologists using light-sheet microscopes in their research and scientists wanting to learn more about this technology and the available instruments had the opportunity to listen to 33 talks, to study 27 posters and to talk to representatives of a dozen companies that were exhibiting their products in the foyer.

Francesco Pampaloni and Ernst H.K. Stelzer welcoming the LSFM2019 attendees

From a LSFM4LIFE perspective, the highlight was Till Moreth’s (LSFM4LIFE Work Package 4, Goethe University Frankfurt) presentation in the “Organoids and 3D cultures” session (see also our pre-conference report). In his talk “In toto analysis of pancreatic organoids reveals high intracultural heterogeneity” he described how bright-field and light-sheet microscopy had been used to collect image data that was analyzed in two automated processing pipelines to extract parameters such as cell number, surface and shape. When applied to mouse and human pancreatic organoids, this showed a high intracultural heterogeneity, which suggests the existence of distinct organoid subtypes.

Till Moreth discussing an organoid size analysis

The two other talks in this session were given by Elena Martinez (IBEC Barcelona) and Gustavo de Medeiros (from the Liberali Lab at the FMI Basel). Elena, who is also a partner in BRIGHTER, the new EU-funded project involving the two LSFM4LIFE partners Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences and Cellendes, described light-based strategies to generate complex geometries in hydrogels for the modelling of intestinal tissue. Gustavo presented his studies on the mechanisms that drive symmetry breaking in intestinal organoids. And another scientist showing plenty of organoid images in her talk “Uncovering cell dynamics in developing embryos, embryoids and organoid models” was Gopi Shah (EMBL Barcelona).

The poster session featured five posters that presented research results achieved with the help of H2020-funding awarded to the LSFM4LIFE project:

  • P. Gupta – Development of an inverted light sheet fluorescence microscope for high throughput organoid screening
  • L. Hof – Image-based whole population analyses allow quantification of intracultural organoid heterogeneity
  • M. Koch – Ultra-thin fluorocarbon foils optimise multiscale imaging of three-dimensional native and optically cleared specimens
  • F. Pampaloni – Studying glioma invasion/migration using organotypic brain slice culture combined with ligh-sheet microscopy (OTCxLSFM)
  • S. Saeifar – Spheroid culture for enhancing differentiation of human pancreatic organoids
Four of the five posters presented by LSFM4LIFE participants

Of course, a social event had been arranged by Francesco and Ernst: 130 people met on board of a restaurant ship for a 3-hour tour on the river Main. Unfortunately it was misty, so the view of the Frankfurt skyline was not very good (see Sebastian Munck’s tweet) – but microscopists are used to non-optimal optical conditions, so everybody really enjoyed that evening.

The conference was also well covered on Twitter, where several attendees posted their comments on, and photographs of, the presentations. A selection of these tweets has been bundled into a Twitter Moment.