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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 2 — Sep. 1, 2010
  • pp: 694–705

Integrated optical transfection system using a microlens fiber combined with microfluidic gene delivery

N. Ma, P. C. Ashok, D. J. Stevenson, F. J. Gunn-Moore, and K. Dholakia  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 1, Issue 2, pp. 694-705 (2010)

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Optical transfection is a promising technique for the delivery of foreign genetic material into cells by transiently changing the permeability of the cell membrane. Of the different optical light sources that have been used, femtosecond laser based transfection has been one of the most effective methods for optical transfection which is generally implemented using a free space bulk optical setup. In conventional optical transfection methods the foreign genetic material to be transfected is homogenously mixed in the medium. Here we report the first realization of an integrated optical transfection system which can achieve transfection along with localized drug delivery by combining a microlens fiber based optical transfection system with a micro-capillary based microfluidic system. A fiber based illumination system is also incorporated in the system in order to achieve visual identification of the cell boundaries during transfection. A novel fabrication method is devised to obtain easy and inexpensive fabrication of microlensed fibers, which can be used for femtosecond optical transfection. This fabrication method offers the flexibility to fabricate a microlens which can focus ultra-short laser pulses at a near infrared wavelength to a small focal spot (~3 µm) whilst keeping a relatively large working distance (~20 µm). The transfection efficiency of the integrated system with localized plasmid DNA delivery, is approximately 50%, and is therefore comparable to that of a standard free space transfection system. Also the use of integrated system for localized gene delivery resulted in a reduction of the required amount of DNA for transfection. The miniaturized, integrated design opens a range of exciting experimental possibilities, including the dosing of tissue slices, targeted drug delivery, and targeted gene therapy in vivo.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(060.2280) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber design and fabrication
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.1420) Medical optics and biotechnology : Biology
(190.4180) Nonlinear optics : Multiphoton processes
(220.4000) Optical design and fabrication : Microstructure fabrication
(320.7090) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast lasers
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics

ToC Category:
Cell Studies

Original Manuscript: June 30, 2010
Revised Manuscript: August 17, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: August 18, 2010
Published: August 23, 2010

N. Ma, P. C. Ashok, D. J. Stevenson, F. J. Gunn-Moore, and K. Dholakia, "Integrated optical transfection system using a microlens fiber combined with microfluidic gene delivery," Biomed. Opt. Express 1, 694-705 (2010)

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