The CellSurgeon is a laser based nanodissection system, designed for gentle and contact-free manipulation of cells and cell structures. It can be used to change cell dynamics, to deactivate cell organelles or to enable cell transfection. Possible applications are optical perforation of cell membranes to enable DNA transfection and cutting of cell structures such as cytoskeleton.
- Contact-free nanodissection of cells and cell structures
- Gentle manipulation of living cells, without loss of vitality
- High precision and reproducibility
- Adaptable to different microscopes and imaging procedures
- Customised configuration
- Software features for analysis, image processing and automated procedures
The main component of the CellSurgeon is a NIR femtosecond laser. The laser beam is coupled into a microscope and tightly focussed by high numerical aperture objectives. Inside the laser focus very high intensities occur, inducing nonlinear optical processes and finally leading to ablation. Cuts generated in that way are limited to nanometre dimensions and thus very precise. Adjacent structures stay unharmed. Especially for the manipulation of living cells and cell structures this is of great benefit because the risk of cell damage is very low. However, manipulation processes are not only precise but also reproducible.
Endothelia cell before (R) and after (L) ablation of single mitochondrion.
Images courtesy of Judith Baumgart, Laser Centre, Hanover