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Biomed Opt Express. 2013 Aug 7;4(9):1533-47. doi: 10.1364/BOE.4.001533. eCollection 2013.

Single-cell optoporation and transfection using femtosecond laser and optical tweezers.

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Department of Mechatronics, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju, 500-712, South Korea.


In this paper, we demonstrate a new single-cell optoporation and transfection technique using a femtosecond Gaussian laser beam and optical tweezers. Tightly focused near-infrared (NIR) femtosecond laser pulse was employed to transiently perforate the cellular membrane at a single point in MCF-7 cancer cells. A distinct technique was developed by trapping the microparticle using optical tweezers to focus the femtosecond laser precisely on the cell membrane to puncture it. Subsequently, an external gene was introduced in the cell by trapping and inserting the same plasmid-coated microparticle into the optoporated cell using optical tweezers. Various experimental parameters such as femtosecond laser exposure power, exposure time, puncture hole size, exact focusing of the femtosecond laser on the cell membrane, and cell healing time were closely analyzed to create the optimal conditions for cell viability. Following the insertion of plasmid-coated microparticles in the cell, the targeted cells exhibited green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the fluorescent microscope, hence confirming successful transfection into the cell. This new optoporation and transfection technique maximizes the level of selectivity and control over the targeted cell, and this may be a breakthrough method through which to induce controllable genetic changes in the cell.


(000.1430) Biology and medicine; (020.4180) Multiphoton processes; (020.7010) Laser trapping; (140.3538) Lasers, pulsed; (140.7090) Ultrafast lasers; (320.2250) Femtosecond phenomena

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