I’m Prateek Gupta, a Doctoral Researcher in the Heinze Lab.
My specialisation is Biomedical Photonics, or microscopy, in layman terms. During the course of my masters at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), I specialised in optical hardware development for microscopy and so now in the Heinze Lab, I work on extending my skill-set on gaining wet lab experience, using a commercial microscope and then the application of image analysis tools on my data set.
My thesis project is to map surface receptors on platelets using Expansion Microscopy (ExM) to try to understand the “non-classical clotting” phenomenon wherein platelets are seen to aggregate and form a thrombus without activation, thus leading to a stroke or myocardial infarction. Interestingly, Expansion Microscopy is a baby technique in the world of microscopy, in two ways. One that it was just introduced to the scientific community back in 2015 and two, that it quite literally takes inspiration from baby diapers. Physical zoom for easier Super-Resolution microscopy is the USP of this technique, and I employ it to blow up platelets to see highly densely-localised receptor distributions.