“The unique fusion of individual innovative technologies will provide a novel diagnostic tool leading to a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of rare anaemia.”

Lars Kaestner, Coordinator of CoMMiTMenT


The combination of the two imaging technologies (i.e., OMiCS and SICM) to form µCOSMOS provides capabilities that cannot be achieved by any other method or combination of currently available methods. Moreover, µCOSMOS will allow for the development of new scientific approaches, especially with respect to RA, as patient samples can be relatively easily obtained and transported.

The entire operation procedure of the µCOSMOS device consists of four distinct elements:

  • Optofluidic Microscopy based Cell Sorting (OMiCS), will allow for optical manipulation that will lead, when combined with microfluidics, to a cell sorting process and the attachment of the chosen or “picked” cells onto an adhesive surface.
  • Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (SICM) results in an image of the surface topology and the identification of areas of increased electrogenic ion transport. This identification will be assisted by high-resolution optical imaging (see below).
  • The optical device will allow for switching to high numerical aperture objectives and the direct combination of high-resolution optical imaging by confocal or phase microscopy with SICM. Fluorescent-labelled biomarkers will allow for the identification of transport proteins.
  • SICM intrinsically allows for switching to classical patch-clamp recordings of single channel conductance, which will provide a direct functional readout when guided by the imaging of cellular properties (i.e., surface and content). This configuration will enable further analyses, leading to pharmacological interventions.

This procedure will provide a novel and unique opportunity to locate and subsequently measure activity of ion channels, returning data regarding molecular structure and function.