Guided neuronal growth using optical line traps

  • Carnegie D
  • Stevenson D
  • Mazilu M
 et al. 
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Optically guided neuron growth is a relatively new field where the
exact mechanisms that initiate growth are not well understood. Both
Gaussian light beams and optical line traps have been purported to
initiate neuronal growth. Here we present a detailed study using
optical line traps with symmetric and asymmetric intensity profiles
which have been previously reported to bias the direction of neuronal
growth. In contrast to these previous studies, we show similar levels
of growth regardless of thedirection of the intensity variation along
the line trap. Furthermore, ourexperimental observations confirm
previous suggestions that the filopodiaproduced from neuronal growth
cones can be affected by laser light. Weexperimentally observe alignment
of filopodia with the laser field andpresent a theoretical model
describing the optical torques experienced byfilopodia to explain
this effect.

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  • D. J. Carnegie

  • D. J. Stevenson

  • M. Mazilu

  • F. Gunn-Moore

  • K. Dholakia

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