vivoVerse cofounders Dr. Adela Ben-Yakar and Dr. Sudip Mondal have published an article in Nature Methods titled “Femtosecond laser microdissection for isolation of regenerating C. elegans neurons for single-cell RNA sequencing.” This publication from their work in the Ben-Yakar Group at the University of Texas at Austin showcases a novel and powerful fs-LM technique to isolate single cells from organisms or live mouse brain slices without damaging surrounding tissue.
The key to this method lies in the femtosecond laser-tissue interaction, confining laser absorption to a submicron focal volume below the surface without compromising the health of the tissue or the organisms. Optomechanically controlled laser pulses perforate the interstitial tissue surrounding the cell of interest that then facilitate cell removal to be studied further (e.g., single-cell RNA sequencing). The precision achieved using the femtosecond laser and associated control systems is critical in the technique, limiting adverse thermal effects in the cell itself and the surrounding tissue. The authors demonstrate that this procedure thereby mitigates any stress-related transcriptional artifacts that would adulterate genotype data from the isolated cell.
This isolation and removal of a single intact cell without inducing stress is known to be possible only through this fs-LM method, and the findings from this publication open doors to many further studies. The successful demonstration of this technology on C. elegans and mouse brain slices shows that this technology can be applied more widely (to organoids, other organisms, biopsy samples, etc.) to perform single-cell isolation for phenotype-to-genotype mapping, proteomic study, study of rare cells, and many more areas of study.
To read the paper, follow this link to the Nature Methods publication.