1. EMBL Microfluidics 2012, Heidelberg; (Germany), Poster: “Optofluidic folding of red blood cells in liquid-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber“, May 2012
  2. Conference on Laser and Electro-Optics (CLEO:2012), San José (USA), Talk: “Optofluidic hollow-core photonic crystal fiber coupled to mass spectrometry for rapid photochemical reaction analysis“, May 2012
  3. BioPhotonics 2011 - International Workshop, Parma (Italy), June 2011
  4. Biophotonics '11 - 5th International Graduate Summer School, Isle of Ven (Sweden), Poster: "Single Cell Mechanics in Liquid-Filled Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fibers", May 2011
  5. “Light Harvesting Processes 2009“ at Banz Monastery (Germany), March 2009
  6. Nobel Symposium 138 on “Single Molecule Spectroscopy in Chemistry, Physics and Biology“ in Sånga-Säby (Sweden) as a member of the local organizing team, June 2008
  1. Biophotonics '11 Summer School's 2nd Poster Prize ("honorable mentioning")
  2. IMPRS Annual Meeting Poster Prizes 2010 and 2012
  1. Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
  2. Elite Network of Bavaria (Macromolecular Science, University of Bayreuth)
  1. University of Warwick (UK), Chemical Biology Group, Prof. Peter Sadler
  2. University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Biophysics Group, Prof. Ben Fabry
  3. University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering, Prof. Peter Wasserscheid
Current research / employment Hollow-core photonic crystal fibres feature the unique possibility to guide a defined optical mode in a low index material -- quite in contrast to conventional index-guiding fibres. Moreover, when filling the hollow structure with an aqueous medium of biological interest, the overlap of the light field and the specimen is increased manifold as compared to conventional bioanalytical optical techniques. Ultrasensitive spectroscopy, highly-efficient photoactivation and optical guidance of single cells (see figure) become possible.

Currently we are aiming to propel and balance single human cancer cells in hollow-core photonic bandgap fibres. We foresee that our approach could serve as a novel tool to investigate the mechanical behavior of a single cell, in which the acting optical and drag/shear forces will be precisely determined. The deformational behavior of a cell is a strong indicator of its state of health, since the biochemical and mechanical states of a cell are inherently coupled to each other on the molecular basis of the cytoskeleton. Among many examples, cancer is the most prominent. A greater understanding of the complex phenomenon might hence bear an enormous potential for a new era of prophylactics and therapeutics by restoring healthy functioning in diseased cells.
Publications A. M. Cubillas, S. Unterkofler, T. G. Euser, B. J. M. Etzold, A. C. Jones, P. J. Sadler, P. Wasserscheid and P. St.J. Russell, Photonic crystal fibres for chemical sensing and photochemistry, Chemical Society Reviews, , doi: 10.1039/C3CS60128E, (2013)

S. Unterkofler, M. K. Garbos, T. G. Euser, P. St.J. Russell, Long-distance laser propulsion and deformation monitoring of cells in optofluidic photonic crystal fiber, Journal of Biophotonics, doi:10.1002/jbio..201200180, , (2013)

S. Unterkofler, Dissertation, Optofluidic Photonic Crystal Fibres for biomedical research in fibra, Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, 145 pp., (2013)

S. Unterkofler, R. J. McQuitty, T. G. Euser, N. J. Farrer, P. J. Sadler, P. St.J. Russell, Microfluidic integration of photonic crystal fibers for online photochemical reaction analysis, Optics Letters, 37(11), 1952-1954, (2012)

M. K. Garbos, T. G. Euser, O. A. Schmidt, S. Unterkofler, P. St.J. Russell, Doppler velocimetry on microparticles trapped and propelled by laser light in liquid-filled photonic crystal fiber, Optics Letters, 36(11), 2020-2022, (2011)

S. Unterkofler, T. Pflock, J. Southall, R. J. Cogdell, J. Köhler, Fluorescence Blinking of the RC–LH1 Complex from Rhodopseudomonas palustris., ChemPhysChem, 12, 711-716, (2011)