Monday, September 19, 2016

Femtosecond scalpel-optical tweezers: efficient tool for assisted hatching and trophectoderm biopsy

D S Sitnikov, I V Ilina, Yu V Khramova, M A Filatov and M L Semenova

Ultrashort laser pulses have enabled highly precise and delicate processing of biological specimens. We present the results of using femtosecond (fs) laser pulses for dissection of zona pellucida (ZP) in mouse embryos during assisted hatching procedure and for trophectoderm biopsy as well. We studied the effects of application of fs laser radiation in the infrared (1028 nm) and visible (514 nm) wavelength ranges. Laser irradiation parameters were optimized so as not to compromise the viability of the treated embryos. Embryo biopsy was carried out in late-stage mouse preimplantation embryos. Femtosecond laser pulses were applied to detach the desired amount of trophectoderm cells from the blastocyst, while the optical tweezers trapped the cells and moved them out of the embryo. The parameters of laser radiation were optimized so as to efficiently perform embryo biopsy and preserve the viability of the treated embryos. The thermal effects can be significantly lower when fs lasers are used as compared to CW or long-pulse lasers. It is crucial when dealing with living cells or organisms.

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