A Novel, all-optical tool for controllable and non-destructive poration of cells with single-micron resolution

D. R. Casey*, D. Wylie, J. Gallo, M. R. Dent, A. Salehi-Reyhani, R. Wilson, N. J. Brooks, N. J. Long, K. R. Willison, D. R. Klug, M. A.A. Neil, S. L. Neale, J. M. Cooper, O. Ces

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

2 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate controllable poration within ≈1 μm regions of individual cells, mediated by a near-IR laser interacting with thin-layer amorphous silicon substrates. This technique will allow new experiments in single-cell biology, particularly in neuroscience. As our understanding of the fundamental mechanistic processes underpinning biology expands, so does the need for high-precision tools to allow the dissection of the heterogeneity and stochastic processes that dominate at the single- and sub-cellular level. Here, we demonstrate a highly controllable and reproducible optical technique for inducing poration within specific regions of a target cell's plasma membrane, permitting localized delivery of payloads, depolarization and lysis experiments to be conducted in unprecedented detail. Experiments support a novel mechanism for the process, based upon a thermally-induced change triggered by the interactions of a near-IR laser with a biocompatible thin film substrate at powers substantially below that used in standard optoporation experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBio-Optics
Subtitle of host publicationDesign and Application, BODA 2015
PublisherOptical Society of America (OSA)
ISBN (Electronic)9781557529541
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2015
EventBio-Optics: Design and Application, BODA 2015 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 12 Apr 201515 Apr 2015

Publication series

NameBio-Optics: Design and Application, BODA 2015


ConferenceBio-Optics: Design and Application, BODA 2015


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