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Internal Cell Manipulation Using Infrared Laser Traps

A. Ashkin and J. M. Dziedzic
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 86, No. 20 (Oct. 15, 1989), pp. 7914-7918
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/35193
Page Count: 5
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Internal Cell Manipulation Using Infrared Laser Traps
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Abstract

The ability of infrared laser traps to apply controlled forces inside of living cells is utilized in a study of the mechanical properties of the cytoplasm of plant cells. It was discovered that infrared traps are capable of plucking out long filaments of cytoplasm inside cells. These filaments exhibit the viscoelastic properties of plastic flow, necking, stress relaxation, and set, thus providing a unique way to probe the local rheological properties of essentially unperturbed living cells. A form of internal cell surgery was devised that is capable of making gross changes in location of such relatively large organelles as chloroplasts and nuclei. The utility of this technique for the study of cytoplasmic streaming, internal cell membranes, and organelle attachment was demonstrated.

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