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Proceedings Paper

Femtosecond laser pulses for chemical-free embryonic and mesenchymal stem cell differentiation
Author(s): Patience Mthunzi; Kishan Dholakia; Frank Gunn-Moore
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Paper Abstract

Owing to their self renewal and pluripotency properties, stem cells can efficiently advance current therapies in tissue regeneration and/or engineering. Under appropriate culture conditions in vitro, pluripotent stem cells can be primed to differentiate into any cell type some examples including neural, cardiac and blood cells. However, there still remains a pressing necessity to answer the biological questions concerning how stem cell renewal and how differentiation programs are operated and regulated at the genetic level. In stem cell research, an urgent requirement on experimental procedures allowing non-invasive, marker-free observation of growth, proliferation and stability of living stem cells under physiological conditions exists. Femtosecond (fs) laser pulses have been reported to non-invasively deliver exogenous materials, including foreign genetic species into both multipotent and pluripotent stem cells successfully. Through this multi-photon facilitated technique, directly administering fs laser pulses onto the cell plasma membrane induces transient submicrometer holes, thereby promoting cytosolic uptake of the surrounding extracellular matter. To display a chemical-free cell transfection procedure that utilises micro-litre scale volumes of reagents, we report for the first time on 70 % transfection efficiency in ES-E14TG2a cells using the enhanced green fluorescing protein (EGFP) DNA plasmid. We also show how varying the average power output during optical transfection influences cell viability, proliferation and cytotoxicity in embryonic stem cells. The impact of utilizing objective lenses of different numerical aperture (NA) on the optical transfection efficiency in ES-E14TG2a cells is presented. Finally, we report on embryonic and mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. The produced specialized cell types could thereafter be characterized and used for cell based therapies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8097, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VIII, 809723 (9 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893572
Show Author Affiliations
Patience Mthunzi, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa)
Kishan Dholakia, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Frank Gunn-Moore, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8097:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VIII
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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