Applications of microfluidics and optical manipulation for photoporation and imaging
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Optical manipulation covers a wide range of techniques to guide and trap cells using only the forces exerted by light. Another optical tool is photoporation, the technique of injecting membrane-impermeable molecules using light, which has become an important alternative to other injection techniques. Together they provided sterile tools for manipulation and molecule delivery at the single-cell level. In this thesis, the properties of low Reynolds fluid flows are exploited to guide cells though a femtosecond Bessel beam. This design allows for high-throughput optical injection of cells without the need to individually target cells. A method of 'off-chip' hydrodynamic focusing was evaluated and was found to confine 95.6% of the sample within a region which would receive a femtosecond dose compared to 20% without any hydrodynamic focusing. The system was tested using two cell lines to optically inject the membrane-impermeable dye, propidium iodide. This resulted in an increase of throughput by an order of magnitude compared to the previous microfluidic design (to up to 10 cells per second). Next optical trapping and photoporation were combined to create a multimodal workstation. The system provides 3D beam control using spatial light modulators integrated into a custom user interface. The efficiency of optical injection of adherent cells and trapping capabilities were tested. The development of the system provides the groundwork for exploration of the parameters required for photoporation of non-adherent cells. Finally optical trapping is combined with temporally focused multiphoton illumination for scanless imaging. The axial resolution of the system was measured using different microscope objectives before imaging cells stained with calcein. Both single and a pair of recently trypsinised cells were optically trapped and imaged. The position of the trapped cells was manipulated using a spatial light modulator in order to obtain a z-stack of images without adjusting the objective position.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy