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Portrait Oliver Bruns

Our research is dedicated to the development of excellent techniques for biomedical imaging. The advancement of new targeted contrast agents and novel imaging modalities will pave the way for personalized therapy and high precision treatments in the near future. Imaging in the short-wave infrared region (SWIR) is a new technology for biomedical applications. It provides several advantages over the visible and near-infrared regions: general lack of autofluorescence, low light absorption by blood and tissue, and reduced scattering. In this wavelength range tissues become translucent. Recent progress in detection technology and the development of probes demonstrated that, in principal, SWIR imaging enables applications which were previously not feasible with any other technique. These advantages will enable new capabilities in preclinical and clinical imaging.

Oliver Bruns Research – Figure
Brain tumor in SWIR

Future Projects and Goals

  • We develop near-infrared and shortwave-infared imaging to provide solutions for guiding decision-making in surgical oncology.
  • We develop contrast agents for NIR and SWIR fluorescence-guided surgery, targeting identification of residual cancer and risk structures such as nerves.
  • We develop label-free imaging methods for identifying lymph nodes, fat, and other tissue components.
  • We perform basic research on NIR and SWIR imaging and microscopy, focusing on methods to improve sensitivity, imaging speed and depth of detection.

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Advanced optical imaging and microscopy
  • probe/contrast agent development
  • intravital microscopy
  • clinical imaging setup development

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Oliver Bruns is recruiting in the PhD Summer Selection 2024

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Open Project
  • Biomedical imaging beyond the visible
    Preferred Course of Study/Expertise of Candidate: Biochemistry, biology, biomedicine, bioengineering
    → Detailed information as PDF


Since 02/2022
W3 Professor and Head of Dept. Functional Imaging in Surgical Oncology, NCT/UCC Dresden

PI and Emmy Noether group leader, Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, Helmholtz Munich, Germany

Postdoc and Research Scientist in the group of Moungi Bawendi, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA

Senior Scientist, Heinrich-Pette-Institute, Hamburg, Germany

PhD, University Medical Center and Institute of Physical Chemistry, Hamburg, Germany

Studies of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany

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Bruns Group at NCT Dresden

Selected Publications

Arús BA, Cosco ED, Yiu J, Balba I, Bischof TS, Sletten EM, Bruns OT
Shortwave infrared fluorescence imaging of peripheral organs in awake and freely moving mice
Front Neurosci. 17:1135494 doi: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1135494 PMID: 37274204 (2023)

Bandi VG, Luciano MP, Saccomano M, Patel NL, Bischof TS, Lingg JGP, Tsrunchev PT, Nix MN, Ruehle B, Sanders C, Riffle L, Robinson CM, Difilippantonio S, Kalen JD, Resch-Genger U, Ivanic J, Bruns OT, Schnermann MJ
Targeted multicolor in vivo imaging over 1,000 nm enabled by nonamethine cyanines
Nat Methods. 19(3):353–358 doi: 10.1038/s41592-022-01394-6 PMID: 35228725 (2022)

Cosco ED, Spearman AL, Ramakrishnan S, Lingg JGP, Saccomano M, Pengshung M, Arús BA, Wong KCY, Glasl S, Ntziachristos V, Warmer M, McLaughlin RR, Bruns OT, Sletten EM
Shortwave infrared polymethine fluorophores matched to excitation lasers enable non-invasive, multicolour in vivo imaging in real time
Nat Chem. 12(12):1123–1130 doi: 10.1038/s41557-020-00554-5 PMID: 33077925 (2020)

Carr JA, Franke D, Caram JR, Perkinson CF, Saif M, Askoxylakis V, Datta M, Fukumura D, Jain RK, Bawendi MG, Bruns OT
Shortwave infrared fluorescence imaging with the clinically approved near-infrared dye indocyanine green
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115(17):4465–4470 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1718917115 PMID: 29626132 (2018)

Bruns OT, Bischof TS, Harris DK, Franke D, Shi Y, Riedemann L, Bartelt A, Jaworski FB, Carr JA, Rowlands CJ, Wilson MWB, Chen O, Wei H, Hwang GW, Montana DM, Coropceanu I, Achorn OB, Kloepper J, Heeren J, So PTC, Fukumura D, Jensen KF, Jain RK, Bawendi MG
Next-generation in vivo optical imaging with short-wave infrared quantum dots
Nat Biomed Eng. 1:0056 doi: 10.1038/s41551-017-0056 PMID: 29119058 (2017)