BME PhD Prospectus Defense - Raphael Turcotte

4:00 pm on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
6:00 pm on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
44 Cummington St, Room 401
Prof. Jerome Mertz, academic advisor, BU BME (chair)
Prof. Charles P. Lin, research advisor, MGH
Prof. Dan Ehrlich, committee member, BU BME
Prof. Katherine Y. Zhang, committee member, BU ME
Prof. Fernando Camargo, committee member, BCH

Title: “An integrated optical platform for micromanipulation of cells and tissue in live animals”

The hematopoietic stem cell niche is a specialized bone marrow (BM) microenvironment where blood-forming cells reside. Interactions between these rare cells and their niche need to be studied at the single-cell level. While live animal single cell tracking with optical microscopy has proven useful for this purpose, more thorough characterization requires novel approaches. This can be accomplished by using an integrated optical platform for micromanipulations (bone ablation, cell delivery, and cell extraction) in the skull bone of live mice. The platform integrates a non-damaging laser ablation microbeam for bone removal and tissue cutting, an optical tweezer for single cell trapping, and a video-rate multiphoton microscope. For single cell delivery, a narrow channel is ablated through bone under imaging guidance, then the cell is transferred from a micropipette into an optical trap, which brings the cell into the BM through the channel. The survival and proliferation of the implanted cell can be tracked in vivo by follow-up imaging. For cell extraction, a cell cluster is cut from the BM after bone thinning by laser ablation. The cluster is then captured by a microfluidic device placed on top of the skull and processed for molecular profiling.