Femtosecond optical injection of intact plant cells using a reconfigurable platform

Claire A. Mitchell, Stefan Kalies, Tomas Cizmar, Nicola Bellini, Anisha Kubasik-Thayil, Alexander Heisterkamp, Lesley Torrance, Alison G. Roberts, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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. © (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Ultrafast Optics
Subtitle of host publicationBiomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XIV
EditorsAlexander Heisterkamp, Peter R. Herman, Michel Meunier, Stefan Nolte
Place of PublicationBellingham
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering
ISBN (Print)9780819498854
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventSPIE Photonics West 2014: Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XIV - The Moscone Center, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2 Feb 20145 Feb 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE


ConferenceSPIE Photonics West 2014: Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XIV
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


  • Ultrafast optics
  • Optoinjection
  • Photoporation
  • Plant cells
  • Bessel beams
  • Pulse dispersion compensation

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