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Versatile optical manipulation system for inspection, laser processing, and isolation of individual living cells

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9 Author(s)
Stuhrmann, B. ; Lehrstuhl für die Physik Weicher Materie, Fakultät für Physik und Geowissenschaften, Universität Leipzig, Linnéstraße 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany ; Jahnke, H.-G. ; Schmidt, M. ; Jahn, K.
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Isolation of individual cells from a heterogeneous cell population is an invaluable step in the analysis of single cell properties. The demands in molecular and cellular biology as well as molecular medicine are the selection, isolation, and monitoring of single cells and cell clusters of biopsy material. Of particular interest are methods which complement a passive optical or spectroscopic selection with a variety of active single cell processing techniques such as mechanical, biochemical, or genetic manipulation prior to isolation. Sophisticated laser-based cell processing systems are available which can perform single cell processing in a contact-free and sterile manner. Until now, however, these multipurpose turnkey systems offer only basic micromanipulation and are not easily modified or upgraded, whereas laboratory situations often demand simple but versatile and adaptable solutions. We built a flexible laser micromanipulation platform combining contact-free microdissection and catapulting capabilities using a pulsed ultraviolet (337 nm) laser with simultaneous generation of optical tweezing forces using a continuous wave infrared (1064 nm) laser. The potential of our platform is exemplified with techniques such as local laser-induced injection of biomolecules into individual living cells, laser surgery, isolation of single cells by laser catapulting, and control of neuronal growth using optical gradient forces. Arbitrary dynamic optical force patterns can be created by fast laser scanning with acousto-optical deflectors and galvanometer mirrors, allowing multibeam contact-free micromanipulation, a prerequisite for reliable handling of material in laboratory-on-a-chip applications. All common microscopy techniques can be used simultaneously with the offered palette of micromanipulation methods. Taken together, we show that advanced optical micromanipulation systems can be desig- ned which combine quality, cost efficiency, and adaptability.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:77 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 2006

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