13th ESMI Winter Conference "hot TOPIics in IMaging - TOPIM 2019"


Date: 13-18 January 2019

Venue: Ecole de Physique des Houches

Les Houches, France


Exploring physical parameters in patients is one of the oldest medical approaches: liver elasticity, arterial pulsation, palpation of nodes, abnormal hardness, measurement of temperature, are a few examples of the paramount importance of assessing the physical parameters of living tissues in medical practice. Paradoxically, the scientific basis of these observations remained largely unexplored until recently, when new tools developed for high level physics were spectacularly brought to imaging science. It is therefore no surprise that Atomic Force Microscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Elastometry, Ultrafast ultrasound, Multispectral Optoacoustic tomography, Optical tweezers, Diffusion imaging, etc. have invaded research labs or doctors’ practices. We are witnessing a true revolution in biological research laboratories, where the doors are now wide open to physicists, engineers and mathematicians. In fact, successful biological research is unthinkable without their contribution, and it is fascinating to note how rapidly this is happening.

Biologists must learn how to converse in the new transdisciplinary context and conversely, physicists should take into consideration the new tools that bioengineering continuously produces for addressing the physical properties of living matter: cell adhesion sensors, genetically encoded piezoelectric molecular complexes, not to mention the millions of targeted mutations in various animal models that offer myriads of experimental situations to test.

In vivo imaging is based on measuring the changes in the properties of particles and waves as they travel through the body and is naturally at the forefront of the physics-biology dialog. Hence, TOPIM 2019 will stand at the crossroad of physics, imaging and biology, to present and discuss the new methods for Imaging the physical properties of living matter and the shift in biological paradigms that they produce.

TOPICS in detail

BIOLOGY piezo proteins, muscle contraction, Development, structure of bones, tendons and fascia, mechanical deformations of cells, cell adhesion, cell division, stem cell differentiation, fibrosis, drepanocytosis and red blood cell mechanics, fatty liver, tumor growth mechanics, mechanical properties of soft tissues, heart and large arteries (...)

PHYSICS Magnetic and ultrasound elastometry, Optical tweezers, atolmic force microscopy, optical coherence tomography, diffusion, machine learning, optoacoustics, synchrotron and coherent X-ray sources imaging, multiscale imaging of tissue mechanics (...)

Overall concept

Since 2007 the overall concept of TOPIM has been that experienced, high-level international scientists and younger/less experienced scientists from diverse disciplines are spending one week together at an inspiring place and to provide a "think tank" for knowledge exchange and intensive discussion.

Presentations are held during the morning and early evening; so that there are plenty of opportunities for continued scientific discussions.

General Schedule

ARRIVAL day is Sunday 13 January 2019 from 15.00h onwards. END of TOPIM is Friday 18 January after lunch.

Presentations will be held during the morning (8:45-12:15) and afternoon/early evening (16:45-19:30) such that there is room to continue scientific discussions in between and also to enjoy the snow.

All participants are asked to stay for the entire duration of TOPIM.