Lasing in live mitotic and non-phagocytic cells by efficient delivery of microresonators

Marcel Schubert, Klara Volckaert, Markus Karl, Andrew Morton, Philipp Liehm, Gareth Brian Miles, Simon John Powis, Malte Christian Gather

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23 Citations (Scopus)
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Reliable methods to individually track large numbers of cells in real time are urgently needed to advance our understanding of important biological processes like cancer metastasis, neuronal network development and wound healing. It has recently been suggested to introduce microscopic whispering gallery mode lasers into the cytoplasm of cells and to use their characteristic, size dependent emission spectrum as optical barcode but so far there is no evidence that this approach is generally applicable. Here, we describe a method that drastically improves intracellular delivery of resonators for several cell types, including mitotic and non-phagocytic cells. In addition, we characterize the influence of resonator size on the spectral characteristics of the emitted laser light and identify an optimum size range that facilitates tagging and tracking of thousands of cells simultaneously. Finally, we observe that the microresonators remain internalized by cells during cell division, which enables tagging several generations of cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40877
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2017


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