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Franziska Schlenker wins “Imaging Perspectives 2021“

Anyone who has ever looked through a microscope can attest to the fact that the world under the microscope is a world of its own. Even things visible to the naked eye appear novel and often mysterious. On the track of point mutations within a so-called droplet PCR assay, the now first place winning image "River with little island" was created.

Franziska Schlenker, a researcher in the field of liquid biopsy, used fluorescence-labelled reporter molecules to study DNA fragments located in individual droplets in an oil phase. The image consists of a composite overlay of 72 individual images taken with the BioTek "Lionheart LX" microscope. The mediator probe assay shown here does not require complex optimization and its flexible design enables comprehensive mutation analyses, e.g. for cancer patients. The Agilent company BioTek is based in Vermont, USA.

Section of fluorescence image overlay of a four-color digital droplet PCR assay for the quantification of point mutations. FAM (GFP channel, green) labeled probe for wild type sequence detection and HEX (RFP channel, blue), Atto Rho 101 (Texas Red channel, magenta) as well as Cy5 (Cy5 channel, red) labeled probes for mutation sequence detection. The overall image was composed from 72 individual images that were captured with a magnification of 2.5x in a fixed z-position. Image captured with: Lionheart LX. Copyright: Franziska Schlenker


Franziska Schlenker



  • Microfluidics
  • Lab-on-a-Chip
  • System/assay integration
  • Nucleic assay analysis
  • Cancer diagnostics (Liquid Biopsy)