Photothermal nanoblade for patterned cell membrane cutting

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.49). 10/2010; 18(22):23153-60. DOI: 10.1364/OE.18.023153
Source: PubMed


We report a photothermal nanoblade that utilizes a metallic nanostructure to harvest short laser pulse energy and convert it into a highly localized and specifically shaped explosive vapor bubble. Rapid bubble expansion and collapse punctures a lightly-contacting cell membrane via high-speed fluidic flows and induced transient shear stress. The membrane cutting pattern is controlled by the metallic nanostructure configuration, laser pulse polarization, and energy. Highly controllable, sub-micron sized circular hole pairs to half moon-like, or cat-door shaped, membrane cuts were realized in glutaraldehyde treated HeLa cells.

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    • "Focusing of light is widely used in optical microprobes where a stable and well-confined beam of photons is scanned or directed over a biological sample or photonic structure. Potential applications of such technologies are numerous, including ultra-precise laser surgery [1], nanoscale patterning [2], piercing of a cell [3], and biomedical optical spectroscopy [4]. Typically, these applications require a combination of high spatial resolution and high power transmission. "
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