Femtosecond optical transfection of cells:viability and efficiency

D. Stevenson, B. Agate, X. Tsampoula, P. Fischer, C. T.A. Brown, W. Sibbett, A. Riches, F. Gunn-Moore, K. Dholakia

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188 Citations (Scopus)


Photoporation is a rapidly expanding technique for the introduction of macromolecules into single cells. However, there remains no study into the true efficiency of this procedure. Here, we present a detailed analysis of transfection efficiency and cell viability for femtosecond optical transfection using a titanium sapphire laser at 800 nm. Photoporation of 4000 Chinese Hamster ovary cells was performed, representing the largest optical transfection study reported to date. We have investigated a range of laser fluences at the cell membrane and, at 1.2 μJ/cm2, have found an average transfection efficiency of 50 ± 10%. Contrary to recent literature, in which 100% efficiency is claimed, our measure of efficiency accounts for all irradiated cells, including those lost as a result of laser treatment, thereby providing a true biological measure of the technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7125-7133
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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