Oil Droplets turn Cells into Tiny Lasers

in science on (#10FMD)
Scientists have turned individual cells into miniature lasers by injecting them with droplets of oil or fat mixed with a fluorescent dye that can be activated by short pulses of light. This finding could help to broaden how light is used for both medical diagnosis and treatment. The system was devised by Harvard Medical School scientiest, and it uses droplets of fat or oil within a cell to reflect and amplify light, generating a laser. Conventional luminescent probes, which include fluorescent dyes and proteins, have relatively broad emission spectra. This limits the number of probes that can be used simultaneously, because it is often difficult to distinguish these sources of luminescence from the broad background emissions of naturally occurring molecules in tissue.


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