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9 March 2015 Perspectives in nanostructure assisted laser manipulation of mammalian cells
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The interaction of cell-adhered nanostructures with laser light has attracted much interest within the biomedical field. Molecular delivery using a variety of plasmonic nanostructures, such as structured surfaces, nanoparticles and particle clusters, is currently evolving from its proof-of-concept into a routine method. Here, gold represents the material of choice, as it provides unique optical properties, different surface modifications as well as biocompatibility. In addition, new materials (e.g. polypyrrole) provide interesting alternatives.

Applying this approach, a variety of molecules, such as fluorescent dyes, proteins, antisense structures, and DNA, has been transfected in order to manipulate the cellular functions in different experimental settings. Antisense structures, for example, allow the efficient down regulation of the gene activity of a target, providing insights into the gene’s function. The delivery of proteins, as executing molecules in the cell, can exhibit an immediate effect on the cell behavior, allowing a minute observation of the intracellular kinetics.

Direct cell manipulation can be achieved with this approach as well. Increasing the nanoparticle concentration and/or the radiant exposure, effective cell destruction is induced. Using targeted nanoparticles (e.g. by antibody conjugation) in combination with spatially selective laser irradiation permits well-directed cell manipulation even in mixed cultures and potentially in tissues. Furthermore, excited gold nanoparticles can directly trigger cellular reactions, which can possibly be utilized for cell stimulation. The manifold possibilities of nanostructure assisted laser manipulation are still in development.
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Dag Heinemann, Markus Schomaker, Stefan Kalies, Anton Hoerdt, Hugo Murua Escobar, Tammo Ripken, and Heiko Meyer "Perspectives in nanostructure assisted laser manipulation of mammalian cells", Proc. SPIE 9355, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XV, 935509 (9 March 2015);

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