Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 279–295 | Cite as

Pulsed-laser creation and characterization of giant plasma membrane vesicles from cells

  • Christopher V. Kelly
  • Mary-Margaret T. Kober
  • Päivö Kinnunen
  • David A. Reis
  • Bradford G. Orr
  • Mark M. Banaszak Holl
Original Paper


Femtosecond-pulsed laser irradiation was found to initiate giant plasma membrane vesicle (GPMV) formation on individual cells. Laser-induced GPMV formation resulted from intracellular cavitation and did not require the addition of chemical stressors to the cellular environment. The viscosity, structure, and contents of laser-induced GPMVs were measured with fluorescence microscopy and single-particle tracking. These GPMVs exhibit the following properties: (1) GPMVs grow fastest immediately after laser irradiation; (2) GPMVs contain barriers to free diffusion of incorporated fluorescent beads; (3) materials from both the cytoplasm and surrounding media flow into the growing GPMVs; (4) the GPMVs are surrounded by phospholipids, including phosphatidylserine; (5) F-actin is incorporated into the vesicles; and (6) caspase activity is not essential for GPMV formation. The effective viscosity of 65 nm polystyrene nanoparticles within GPMVs ranged from 32 to 434 cP. The nanoparticle diffusion was commonly affected by relatively large, macromolecular structures within the bleb.


Giant plasma membrane vesicle (GPMV) Single-particle tracking Membrane permeability Micro-bubble Viscosity Bleb Femtosecond laser pulse 

Supplementary material

10867_2009_9167_MOESM1_ESM.doc (870 kb)
(DOC 870 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher V. Kelly
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mary-Margaret T. Kober
    • 4
    • 5
  • Päivö Kinnunen
    • 4
    • 6
  • David A. Reis
    • 1
    • 6
  • Bradford G. Orr
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
    • 7
  • Mark M. Banaszak Holl
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 8
  1. 1.Applied Physics ProgramUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.BiophysicsUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Graham Environmental Sustainability InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Department of ChemistryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  6. 6.Department of PhysicsUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  7. 7.Ann ArborUSA
  8. 8.Ann ArborUSA

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