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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 2, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 2011
  • pp: 2383–2391

Patterned femtosecond-laser ablation of Xenopus laevis melanocytes for studies of cell migration, wound repair, and developmental processes

Jessica P. Mondia, Dany S. Adams, Ryan D. Orendorff, Michael Levin, and Fiorenzo G. Omenetto  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 2, Issue 8, pp. 2383-2391 (2011)

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Ultrafast (femtosecond) lasers have become an important tool to investigate biological phenomena because of their ability to effect highly localized tissue removal in surgical applications. Here we describe programmable, microscale, femtosecond-laser ablation of melanocytes found on Xenopus laevis tadpoles, a technique that is applicable to biological studies in development, regeneration, and cancer research. We illustrate laser marking of individual melanocytes, and the drawing of patterns on melanocyte clusters to help track their migration and/or regeneration. We also demonstrate that this system can upgrade scratch tests, a technique used widely with cultured cells to study cell migration and wound healing, to the more realistic in vivo realm, by clearing a region of melanocytes and monitoring their return over time. In addition, we show how melanocyte ablation can be used for loss-of-function experiments by damaging neighboring tissue, using the example of abnormal tail regeneration following localized spinal cord damage. Since the size, shape, and depth of melanocytes vary as a function of tadpole age and melanocyte location (head or tail), an ablation threshold chart is given. Mechanisms of laser ablation are also discussed.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(170.1020) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ablation of tissue

ToC Category:
Optical Therapies and Photomodificaton

Original Manuscript: June 7, 2011
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 24, 2011
Published: July 27, 2011

Jessica P. Mondia, Dany S. Adams, Ryan D. Orendorff, Michael Levin, and Fiorenzo G. Omenetto, "Patterned femtosecond-laser ablation of Xenopus laevis melanocytes for studies of cell migration, wound repair, and developmental processes," Biomed. Opt. Express 2, 2383-2391 (2011)

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