Femtosecond optical injection of intact plant cells using a reconfigurable platform

C.A. Mitchell, S. Kalies, T. Cizmar, N. Bellini, A. Kubasik-Thayil, A. Heisterkamp, L. Torrance, A.G. Roberts, F.J. Gunn-Moore, K. Dholakia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The use of ultrashort-pulsed lasers for molecule delivery and transfection has proved to be a non-invasive and highly efficient technique for a wide range of mammalian cells. This present study investigates the effectiveness of femtosecond photoporation in plant cells, a hard-to-manipulate yet agriculturally relevant cell type, specifically suspension tobacco BY-2 cells. Both spatial and temporal shaping of the light field is employed to optimise the delivery of membrane impermeable molecules into plant cells using a reconfigurable optical system designed to be able to switch easily between different spatial modes and pulse durations. The use of a propagation invariant Bessel beam was found to increase the number of cells that could be viably optoinjected, when compared to the use of a Gaussian beam. Photoporation with a laser producing sub-12 fs pulses, coupled with a dispersion compensation system to retain the pulse duration at focus, reduced the power required for efficient optical injection by 1.5-1.8 times when compared to a photoporation with a 140 fs laser output.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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