Nondestructive isolation of single cultured animal cells by femtosecond laser-induced shockwave
A shockwave induced by focusing an intense femtosecond laser onto a culture medium under a microscope was used to manipulate single cultured animal cells. Mouse NIH3T3 fibroblasts were cultured on a collagen matrix and placed on a microscope installation that included an intense femtosecond laser. Cells were detached individually from the matrix by the shockwave, after their filopodia were cut by focusing the laser directly on them. The appearance and locomotion of cells after detachment was monitored with a CCD camera. Filopodia of the detached cells were regenerated, and the cell adhered again to the matrix within 4 hrs after detachment. When the shockwave was induced at a pulse energy of 0.72 μJ/pulse, 80% of cells were successfully detached from the culture plate in a non-destructive manner. The force required to detach a cell was estimated to be a few μN/μm2, which is larger than the photon force resulting from conventional laser trapping.
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