Andrew Davis


There are a variety of methods for cell permeabilization including microinjection by glass pipettes, electroporation, and biolistics. These techniques for inserting exogenous DNA offer high throughput, but possess little or no targeting capability. We use two-photon microscopy to image, together with femtosecond laser pulses to ablate targeted cells with sub-micrometer spatial precision. Femtosecond lasers pulses are an ideal optical scalpel to transiently disrupt a targeted cell membrane for uptake of membrane-impermeable dyes and DNA plasmids that code for the production of green fluorescent protein in cell culture. Femtosecond lasers disrupt targeted structures by depositing energy into the bulk of a microscopic volume without collateral damage to the cell surface. The aim is to utilize parameters from our studies in vitro including laser pulse energy, laser exposure time, and cell viability post optoporation in order to introduce foreign genetic material into specifically targeted cells in vivo. I am currently an undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior. This work is being performed in collaboration with Moonsoo Jin’s Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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