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“Nano-scissors?laser shows precise surgical capability

hort length makes the photons in the laser concentrate in one area, delivering a lot of power to a tiny, specific volume without damaging surrounding tissue.?Once cut, the axons vaporized, and no other tissue was harmed. To assure the axons were actually cut, and their disappearance wasn’t caused by discoloration by the laser, the researchers cut axons they knew would impair the worms?backward motion. The worms couldn’t move backwards after surgery. But within 24 hours, most of the severed axons regrew and the worms recovered backward movement—confirming that the precision of the laser’s cut didn’t damage surrounding tissue and allowed the neurons to grow a new axon to reach the muscle. Until now, researchers have only been able to investigate nerve regeneration in mice and zebrafish, which have complex nervous systems. This laser allows researchers to study nerve cells at their most basic evolutionary form, opening the door to other experiments on genetic and molecular factors that determine whether damaged nerve cells regrow. Ben-Yakar developed the femtosecond laser surgery technique using the laboratories and equipment of Dr. Robert Byer, a Stanford University professor, while doing post-doctoral work. The paper’s other co-authors are Mehmet Fatih Yanik at Stanford, Hulusi Cinar, Hediye Nese Cinar and Andrew D. Chisholm at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Yishi Jin of UC Santa Cruz and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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Source:University of Texas at Austin


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