In order to perform long-term studies up to one week on a preselected single cell after micromanipulation (e.g. UVA and NIR microbeam exposure) in comparison with non-treated neighbor cells (control cells) we applied a variety of single cell diagnostic techniques and developed a special comet assay for single preselected cells. For that purpose adherent cells were grown in low concentrations and maintained in special sterile centimeter-sized glass cell chambers. After preselection, a single cell was marked by means of diamond-produced circles on the outer cell chamber window. During exposure to microbeams, NADH-attributed autofluorescence of the chosen cell was detected by fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy. In addition, cell morphology was video-monitored (formation of pseudopodia, membrane blebbing,...). Maintaining the microchamber in the incubator, the irradiated cell was examined 24 h later for cell division (clone formation) and modifications in autofluorescence and morphology (including daughter cells). In the case that no division occurred the vitality of the light-exposed cell and of the control cells were probed by intranuclear propidium iodide accumulation. After fixation, either electron microscopy or single cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay) was performed. To monitor comet formation indicating photoinduced DNA damage in the preselected single cell in comparison with the non-exposed neighbor cells the chamber was filled with low-melting gel and lysis solution and exposed to an electric field. In contrast to the conventional comet assay, where only randomly chosen cells of a suspension are investigated, the novel optimized electrophoresis technique should enhance the possibilities of DNA damage detection to a true single (preselected) cell level. The single cell techniques applied to UVA microexposed Chinese hamster ovary cells (364 nm, 1 mW, 3.5 W/cm2) revealed significant cell damage for J/cm2 fluences such as modifications of intracellular redox state, impaired cell division, formation of giant cells and cell shrinking, swelling of mitochondria and loss of cristae as well as DNA damage.