Department of Functional Imaging in Surgical Oncology

The Department for Functional Imaging in Surgical Oncology develops high-precision imaging methods for cancer surgery, using short-wave infrared light, fluorescent dyes and cutting-edge detection technologies.

With the new method, it could be possible in future to detect individual cancer cells on tumor margins and in lymph nodes during an operation. In addition, the method offers the potential to simultaneously visualize certain structures - such as the tumor, surrounding healthy tissue, and draining lymphatic vessels - in real-time during surgery.


Prof. Dr. Oliver Bruns
Head of Department
Functional Imaging in Surgical Oncology
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 3386
E-Mail: oliver.bruns(at)

Oliver Bruns

Prof. Dr. Oliver Bruns


Group picture

FBOO group at World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) in Prague

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. 

Imaging of tumor signal, lymphatic pumping and tumor vascular permeability using ICG, FNIR-872-Pan and FNIR-1072-Dex (Bandi et al., 2022).

Our aims

  • We develop near-infrared (NIR) and shortwave-infared (SWIR) 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.
Oliver Bruns

Prof. Dr. Oliver Bruns

Head of Department

Email: oliver.bruns(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 3386
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.120


Maria Voigt

Maria Voigt


Email: maria.voigt(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 5587
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.121

Andriy Chmyrov

Dr.-Ing. Andriy Chmyrov

Deputy Head of Department

Email: andriy.chmyrov(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 55078
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.118

Research Topic: Development of optical imaging techniques (microscopy, mesoscopy) with extended penetration depth in biological tissues


Bernardo Arús

Bernardo Arús

Ph. D. student

Email: bernardo.arus(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 55077
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.118

Research Topic: Biomedical applications of mesoscopic optical methods


Merle Weitzenberg

Merle Weitzenberg

Shared Ph. D. student with Prof. Dr. Oliver Plettenburg

Email: merle.weitzenberg(at)

Research Topic: Synthesis and Validation of Targeted Contrast Agents for Fluorescence Guided Surgery

Caroline Berrou

Shared Ph. D. student with Prof. Dr. Oliver Plettenburg

Email: caroline.berrou(at)

Research Topic: Development and Characterization of Short Wave Infrared Fluorescent Probes Targeting Cholesteatoma

Simon Härtl

Research System Engineer

Email: simon.haertl(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 55079
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.115

Georg Hartl

Georg Hartl

Ph. D. student and Scientist in the field of (Bio-)Physics

Email: georg.hartl(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 55079
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.115

Metar Heller-Algazi

Metar Heller-Algazi

Ph. D. student and Scientist in the field of (Bio-)Physics

Email: metar.heller-algazi(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 55084
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.116

Iuliia Mukha

Dr. Iuliia Mukha

Guest scientist

Email: iuliia.mukha(at)
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 55080
Building/Room Number: H 136/3.116


Tjadina Klein

Lanny Seraphim Thomas

Student research assistant

Email: lanny.thomas(at)


  • Samuel Adler
  • Ilaria Balba
  • Thomas Bischof
  • Berit Blume
  • Nina Buettner
  • Emily Cosco
  • Asli Ergin
  • Gina Fürtjes
  • Xhenifer Guza
  • Sofia Kieffa
  • Jakob Lingg
  • Bunyamin Pekdemir
  • Shyam Ramakrishnan
  • Hannes Rolbieski
  • Mara Saccomano
  • Katharina Tartler
  • Peter Tsrunchev
  • Martin Warmer
  • Joycelyn Yiu

1. In vivo NIR-II fluorescence imaging for biology and medicine
Feifei Wang, Yeteng Zhong, Oliver T. Bruns, Yongye Liang, Hongjie Dai
Published: 04 March 2024; Nature Photonics (2024); Link to the article​​​​​​​

2. Shortwave-Infrared Line-Scan Confocal Microscope for Deep Tissue Imaging in Intact Organs
Jakob G. P. Lingg, Thomas S. Bischof, Bernardo A. Arús, Emily D. Cosco, Ellen M. Sletten, Christopher J. Rowlands, Oliver T. Bruns, Andriy Chmyrov
DOI: 10.1002/lpor.202300292

3. Preventing cation intermixing enables 50% quantum yield in sub-15 nm short-wave infrared-emitting rare-earth based core-shell nanocrystals. 
Arteaga Cardona F, Jain N, Popescu R, Busko D, Madirov E, Arús BA, Gerthsen D, De Backer A, Bals S, Bruns OT, Chmyrov A*, Van Aert S*, Richards BS*, Hudry D*.
Nat Commun. 2023 Jul 25;14(1):4462. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40031-4.
PMID: 37491427 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-40031-4

4. Development of a shortwave infrared sinuscope for the detection of cerebrospinal fluid leaks.
Klein TW, Yang S, Tusty MA, Nayak JV, Chang MT, Bruns OT*, Bischof TS*, Valdez TA*. 
J Biomed Opt. 2023 Sep;28(9):094803. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.28.9.094803. Epub 2023 May 12.
PMID: 37188003 DOI: 10.1117/1.JBO.28.9.094803

5. Shortwave infrared fluorescence imaging of peripheral organs in awake and freely moving mice.
Arús BA, Cosco ED, Yiu J, Balba I, Bischof TS, Sletten EM, Bruns OT. 
Front Neurosci. 2023 May 18;17:1135494. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1135494. eCollection 2023.
PMID: 37274204 DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1135494

6. Targeted multicolor in vivo imaging over 1,000 nm enabled by nonamethine cyanines.
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*.
Nat Methods. 2022 Mar;19(3):353-358. doi: 10.1038/s41592-022-01394-6. Epub 2022 Feb 28.
PMID: 35228725 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-022-01394-6

7. Bright Chromenylium Polymethine Dyes Enable Fast, Four-Color In Vivo Imaging with Shortwave Infrared Detection.
Cosco ED, Arús BA, Spearman AL, Atallah TL, Lim I, Leland OS, Caram JR, Bischof TS, Bruns OT*, Sletten EM*. 
J Am Chem Soc. 2021 May 12;143(18):6836-6846. doi: 10.1021/jacs.0c11599. Epub 2021 May 3.
PMID: 33939921 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c11599

8. Shortwave infrared polymethine fluorophores matched to excitation lasers enable non-invasive, multicolour in vivo imaging in real time.
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*. 
Nat Chem. 2020 Dec;12(12):1123-1130. doi: 10.1038/s41557-020-00554-5. Epub 2020 Oct 19.
PMID: 33077925 DOI: 10.1038/s41557-020-00554-5

9. Absorption by water increases fluorescence image contrast of biological tissue in the shortwave infrared.
Carr JA, Aellen M, Franke D, So PTC, Bruns OT*, Bawendi MG*. 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Sep 11;115(37):9080-9085. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1803210115. Epub 2018 Aug 27.
PMID: 30150372  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1803210115

10. Shortwave infrared fluorescence imaging with the clinically approved near-infrared dye indocyanine green.
Carr JA, Franke D, Caram JR, Perkinson CF, Saif M, Askoxylakis V, Datta M, Fukumura D, Jain RK, Bawendi MG*, Bruns OT*. 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Apr 24;115(17):4465-4470. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1718917115. Epub 2018 Apr 6. 
PMID: 29626132 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1718917115

11. Next-generation in vivo optical imaging with short-wave infrared quantum dots.
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. 
Nat Biomed Eng. 2017;1:0056. doi: 10.1038/s41551-017-0056. Epub 2017 Apr 10.
PMID: 29119058 DOI: 10.1038/s41551-017-0056


* means either shared first or shared last authorship

  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Helmholtz Imaging Project
  • BMBF - Better View
  • SFB1123



Prof. Dr. Ellen M. Sletten >>
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Dr. Martin J. Schnermann >>
National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Dr. Christopher Rowlands >>
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College, London, UK

Prof. Dr. Tulio A Valdez >>
Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

Prof. Dr. Oliver Plettenburg >>
Institute of Organic Chemistry, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

Dr. André C. Stiel >>
Cell Engineering Group, Helmholtz Munich, Germany

Dr. Volker Neuschmelting >>
University Hospital Cologne, Germany

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bartelt >>
Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany

Dr. Damien Hudry >>
Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Prof. Dr. Bryce S. Richards >>
Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Dr. rer. nat. Ute Resch-Genger >>
Department of Biophotonics, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Berlin, Germany

  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 1050+, including Three Detectors module and the 150mm Integrating Sphere module
  • Home-built photoexcitation/photoluminescence spectrometer based on an NKT SuperK and a Princeton Instruments spectrograph with a Pixis and Pylon. Excitation 400-1600nm, detection 400-1600nm

Are you interested in joining our team? You can find some of the current positions by following the respective link below. But we are always looking for new team members from different backgrounds to join our team. Feel free to approach us about Master thesis projects, PhD projects and Postdoc positions.

For more information or if you like to send an initiative application, please contact Ms. Maria Voigt by email to: maria.voigt(at)

Please attach a motivation letter describing why you want to join our group and which specific project you are interested in as well as your CV to your email.

BDC Surgeon Talk

with Oliver Bruns 'Molekulare Bildgebung - Zukunftmusik oder schon Realität?' (German only)



Introducing Oliver Bruns. TU Dresden




Prof. Oliver Bruns - University-Wide Inaugural Lecture




FBOO @ WMIC Prague





FBOO @ chemTUgether at TU Dresden