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Opt Express. 2006 Aug 7;14(16):7125-33.

Femtosecond optical transfection of cells: viability and efficiency.

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Interdisciplinary Centre for Medical Photonics, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, Scotland, UK.


Photoporation is a rapidly expanding technique for the introduction of macromolecules into single cells. However, there remains no study into the true efficiency of this procedure. Here, we present a detailed analysis of transfection efficiency and cell viability for femtosecond optical transfection using a titanium sapphire laser at 800 nm. Photoporation of 4000 Chinese Hamster ovary cells was performed, representing the largest optical transfection study reported to date. We have investigated a range of laser fluences at the cell membrane and, at 1.2 microJ/cm(2), have found an average transfection efficiency of 50 +/- 10%. Contrary to recent literature, in which 100% efficiency is claimed, our measure of efficiency accounts for all irradiated cells, including those lost as a result of laser treatment, thereby providing a true biological measure of the technique.

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