The Role of Nanophotonics in Regenerative Medicine

  • Maria F. Garcia-ParajoEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 811)


Cells respond to biochemical and mechanical stimuli through a series of steps that begin at the molecular, nanometre level, and translate finally in global cell response. Defects in biochemical- and/or mechanical-sensing, transduction or cellular response are the cause of multiple diseases, including cancer and immune disorders among others. Within the booming field of regenerative medicine, there is an increasing need for developing and applying nanotechnology tools to bring understanding on the cellular machinery and molecular interactions at the nanoscale. Nanotechnology, nanophotonics and in particular, high-resolution-based fluorescence approaches are already delivering crucial information on the way that cells respond to their environment and how they organize their receptors to perform specialized functions. This chapter focuses on emerging super-resolution optical techniques, summarizing their principles, technical implementation, and reviewing some of the achievements reached so far.

Key words

Super-resolution optical microscopy Nanophotonics Near-field optical microscopy Cell membrane organization 



The author would like to thank B. I. de Bakker, M. Koopman and T.S. van Zanten for NSOM images and fruitful discussions. Financial support has been provided by the EC-RTN-IMMUNANOMAP and EC-NEST-BIO-LIGHT-TOUCH, Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology MAT2007-66629-C02-01 and Generalitat de Catalunya 2009 SGR 597.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BioNanoPhotonics GroupIBEC – Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and CIBER-BBNBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.ICREA – Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis AvançatsBarcelonaSpain

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