Optical transfection of mammalian cells

David Stevenson*, Ben Agate, Lynn Paterson, Tanya Lake, Muriel Comrie, Tom Brown, Andrew Riches, Peter Bryant, Wilson Sibbett, Frank Gunn-Moore, Kishan Dholakia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The introduction of naked DNA or other membrane impermeable substances into a cell (transfection) is a ubiquitous problem in cell biology. This problem is particularly challenging when it is desired to load membrane impermeable substances into specific cells, as most transfection technologies (such as liposomal transfection) are based on treating a global population of cells. The technique of optical transfection, using a focused laser to open a small transient hole in the membrane of a biological cell (photoporation) to load membrane impermeable DNA into it, allows individual cells to be targeted for transfection, while leaving neighbouring cells unaffected. Unlike other techniques used to perform single cell transfection, such as microinjection, optical transfection can be performed in an entirely closed system, thereby maintaining sterility of the sample during treatment. Here, we are investigating the introduction and subsequent expression of foreign DNA into living mammalian cells by laser-assisted photoporation with a femtosecond-pulsed titanium sapphire laser at 800 nm, in cells that are adherent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiophotonics and New Therapy Frontiers
EditorsRomualda Grzymala, Olivier Haeberle
ISBN (Print)9780819462473
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2006
EventBiophotonics and New Therapy Frontiers - Strasbourg, France
Duration: 3 Apr 20065 Apr 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceBiophotonics and New Therapy Frontiers


  • Chinese Hamster Ovary cells
  • Femtosecond-pulsed
  • Green fluorescent protein
  • Laser
  • Optical transfection
  • Optoporation
  • Plasmid
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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