Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 175–183

Mechanisms of laser nanoparticle-based techniques for gene transfection—a calculation study

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10867-009-9138-z

Cite this article as:
Liu, C., Li, Z. & Zhang, Z. J Biol Phys (2009) 35: 175. doi:10.1007/s10867-009-9138-z


Cell plasma membranes can be transiently permeabilized to uptake exogenous molecules with high efficiency using a laser nanoparticle-based gene transfection technique. In combination with experimental results, a theoretical model is set up to calculate the temperature distribution and variance around the nanoparticles. This paper also provides a thorough discussion of the underlying mechanisms of cell permeabilization. We find that, rapid heating of the particles and the accompanying extreme temperature rise can lead to microbubble formation around laser-heated particles, which is the origin of photoacoustic effects and other nonlinear optical responses. This transient heat is also capable of causing protein denaturation through thermal inactivation and photochemistry. Furthermore, the dynamic mode that involves the overlapping of bubbles is presented. This mode can significantly increase the plasma membrane permeability of the cells without affecting their viability.


LaserNanoparticleGene transfectionBubble formation

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Education Ministry, Institute of Biomedical Analytical Technology and Instrumentation, School of Life Science and TechnologyXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina