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Virtual reality meets microbiology: animating complex biological processes

Dr. Philipp Popp, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technologie und Management 


In this project, we aim to explore the capability of virtual reality (VR) to make complex biological techniques interactive. The participants of our course will develop a VR environment centered around establishing, defining, and conceptualizing core elements pertaining a biological question. The objective is  to implement an experimental design that allows to visualize biological processes of the bacterial lifestyle within microfluidic devices. Most laboratories around the world use customized self-built designs and devices accompanied by a complex setup next to the microscope executing the experiment. This circumstance leads to a broad variety of setups possible, making it difficult to explain by standard procedures during a seminar or lecture. Thus, our project will initially reduce the complexity of this type of experiment and subsequently let the user experience the individual stages of microfluid device-based experiments in VR. The VR development will be accompanied by 3D animations visualizing specific parts of the process supporting the learning effect.



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