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IEEE Trans Nanobioscience. 2008 Jun;7(2):111-9. doi: 10.1109/TNB.2008.2000742.

Laser-based gene transfection and gene therapy.

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The Institute of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiantong University, Xi'an, China.


The plasma membrane of mammalian cells can be transiently permeablized by optical means and exogenous materials or genes can be introduced into the cytoplasm of living cells. Until now, few mechanisms were exploited for the manipulation: laser is directly and tightly focused on the cells for optoinjection, laser-induced stress waves, photochemical internalization, and irradiation of selective cell targeting with light-absorbing particles. During the past few years, extensive progress and numerous breakthroughs have been made in this area of research. This review covers four different laser-assisted transfection techniques and their advantages and disadvantages. Universality towards various cell lines is possibly the main advantage of laser-assisted optoporation in comparison with presently existing methods of cell transfection.

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