Abstract:Ultrashort laser pulses are increasingly used in biological applications in recent years. In addition to their well-known use in nonlinear imaging and medical implant modification, manipulation and dissection of individual cells in tissue or structures inside living cells and other biological materials can be accomplished using femtosecond pulses with nanoscale precision. This capability to achieve controlled non-thermal ablation of cellular structures such as a single axon or dendritic spine, sub-cellular organelles such as mitochondria or cytoskeletal elements is also known as nanosurgery. To date, these experiments have relied on solid state lasers, in particular Ti:sapphire lasers which offer good technical performance, but are large in size, costly and very complex. The necessary pulse durations and energies for these applications are within the range of femtosecond fiber lasers, which are more compact, simpler to operate, and cost much less. Importantly, the repetition rate and the pulse train can be controlled using acousto-optic modulators. This talk will talk focus on the use of a custom developed mode-locked fiber laser-microscope system for nanosurgery[*]. This will be followed by discussions on possible applications of fiber laser technology to neuron excitation, neuronal growth control and photoacoustic microscopy.
[*] Seydi Yavas, et al., “Fiber laser-microscope system for femtosecond photodisruption of biological samples,” Biomed. Opt. Express 3, 605-611