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Laser System provides “packets” off in living cells
Scientists from the University of California have developed a laser system that rapidly inject materials into living cells. The technology should help research into diseases and cellular mechanisms.
Lead researcher Dr. Eric Pei-Yu Chiou, which is affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles. The by Chiou and colleagues designed laser system is called Blast and is able to make small openings in cells. Subsequently, “packets”, such as drugs or nanoparticles penetrate the cell.
According to the authors, the system works as follows: cells are arranged on a chip with titanium coating. In this coating, there are small holes having a diameter of a few micrometers. Below the coating is a liquid containing the particles to be delivered into the cell. Once the laser is turned on, the liquid is rapidly boiling, creating a local ‘explosion’. As a result, an opening is created in the cell membrane and therefore, the liquid, with the packets, flows to the inside. All of this happens in a few millionths of a second, after which the cell membrane closes again.
The laser system can be a chip with cells in ten seconds with light beams bombard completely, so there will be delivered at a rate of 100,000 cells per minute packets. This is a significant improvement over conventional techniques: with a micropipette succeeds the scientists to inject only one cell per minute. The Blast system research using cells modified to be so significantly accelerate.
The researchers see applications in various branches of scientific research: the technique, experiments are possible that were previously impossible. For example, there can be done better research into the origins of diseases by modifying genes. Similarly, look at the behavior of infected cells.
The team has been working for a long time Chiou laser systems for manipulating cells. A number of years ago, made researchers a laser system that is able to move living cells without damaging them.
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