Automated laser guidance of neuronal growth cones using a spatial light modulator

David J. Carnegie, Tomás Čižmár, Jörg Baumgartl, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The growth cone of a developing neuron can be guided using a focused infra-red (IR) laser beam [1]. In previous setups this process has required a significant amount of user intervention to adjust continuously the laser beam to guide the growing neuron. Previously, a system using an acousto-optical deflector (AOD) has been developed to steer the beam [2]. However, to enhance the controllability of this system, here we demonstrate the use of a computer controlled spatial light modulator (SLM) to steer and manipulate the shape of a laser beam for use in guided neuronal growth. This new experimental setup paves the way to enable a comprehensive investigation into beam shaping effects on neuronal growth and we show neuronal growth initiated by a Bessel light mode. This is a robust platform to explore the biochemistry of this novel phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-692
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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