Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 34, Issue 7, pp 1257–1262 | Cite as

A femto-injection technique for dynamic analysis of protein function in living embryonic stem cells

  • Hisakage Funabashi
  • Yuki Sugimoto
  • Mikako Saito
  • Hideaki MatsuokaEmail author
Original Research Paper


The potential of a femto-injection technique for use in analyzing protein dynamics in embryonic stem (ES) cells was investigated. First, we showed that fluorescent proteins could be injected in a quantitative fashion into individual mouse ES cells. Second, we demonstrated that the technique could identify functional differences between proteins by analyzing the effect of a nuclear localization signal on the behavior of glutathione S-transferase conjugated to green fluorescent protein. The analysis showed a clear difference in the distribution of the protein when the nuclear localization signal was present. Our results confirm that the non-destructive, quantitative and time controllable aspects of the technique provide considerable advantages for the analysis of protein behavior in living ES cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the successful introduction of proteins into living ES cells by an injection technique.


Embryonic stem cells Femto-injection Protein dynamics Protein function analysis Single-cell analysis 



We thank Dr. H. Niwa for the donation of feeder free EB3 cells. This work was partially supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research form The Ministry of Education, Culture Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MPG 1,346 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 1,150 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hisakage Funabashi
    • 1
  • Yuki Sugimoto
    • 1
  • Mikako Saito
    • 1
  • Hideaki Matsuoka
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and Life ScienceTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyKoganeiJapan

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