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Proceedings Paper

Guiding neuronal growth with optical trap
Author(s): Xiuzhou Feng; Chunlin Xia; Tianchun Zhu; Chunpeng Li; Minghui Wan; Ye Zhang
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Paper Abstract

Neuronal growth cones navigate over long distances along specific pathways to find their correct targets. The prevailing opinion is that growth cones appear to be guided by four different mechanisms: contact attraction, chemoattraction, contact repulsion, and chemorepulsion. In contrast to existing methods, we use optical trap to guide neuronal growth. The optical trap is a non-contact manipulation technology which is increasingly used for micromanipulation of living cells and organisms. An intense light gradient near the focal region of a near-infrared laser beam gives rise to forces that make possible optical trapping and manipulation of a variety of micron-sized objects. In the developing nervous system, microtubule and actin play a fundamental role. To change the microtubule polymerization by control the density of tubulins or exerting a persistent force on the whole growth cone, we have shown experimentally that we can use optical trap to guide the growth direction of a neuron. In order to guide the neuronal growth direction, a self-contrived optical trap is placed in front of a specific area of the edge of the cell's growth cone. We turned the neuronal growth direction and guided it to the direction we expected. Control over neuronal growth is a fundamental objective in neuroscience and guiding neuronal growth with optical trap may be very important for the formation of neural circuits as well as nerve regeneration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 January 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5630, Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics: Diagnostics and Treatment II, (18 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.574688
Show Author Affiliations
Xiuzhou Feng, Suzhou Univ. (China)
Chunlin Xia, Medical School/Suzhou Univ. (China)
Tianchun Zhu, Suzhou Univ. (China)
Chunpeng Li, Medical School/Suzhou Univ. (China)
Minghui Wan, Medical School/Suzhou Univ. (China)
Ye Zhang, Medical School/Suzhou Univ. (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5630:
Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics: Diagnostics and Treatment II
Britton Chance; Mingzhe Chen; Arthur E. T. Chiou; Qingming Luo, Editor(s)

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