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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 8 — Aug. 18, 2008

Guided neuronal growth using optical line traps

D. J. Carnegie, D. J. Stevenson, M. Mazilu, F. Gunn-Moore, and K. Dholakia  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 14, pp. 10507-10517 (2008)

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Optically guided neuron growth is a relatively new field where the exact mechanisms that initiate growth are not well understood. Both Gaussian light beams and optical line traps have been purported to initiate neuronal growth. Here we present a detailed study using optical line traps with symmetric and asymmetric intensity profiles which have been previously reported to bias the direction of neuronal growth. In contrast to these previous studies, we show similar levels of growth regardless of the direction of the intensity variation along the line trap. Furthermore, our experimental observations confirm previous suggestions that the filopodia produced from neuronal growth cones can be affected by laser light. We experimentally observe alignment of filopodia with the laser field and present a theoretical model describing the optical torques experienced by filopodia to explain this effect.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: March 11, 2008
Revised Manuscript: May 19, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: June 25, 2008
Published: June 30, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 8 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

D. J. Carnegie, D. J. Stevenson, M. Mazilu, F. Gunn-Moore, and K. Dholakia, "Guided neuronal growth using optical line traps," Opt. Express 16, 10507-10517 (2008)

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