The diffusive injection micropipette (DIMP).
J Plant Physiol. 2020 Jan;244:153060
Authors: Howell AH, Peters WS, Knoblauch M
The microinjection of fluorescent probes into live cells is an essential component in the toolbox of modern cell biology. Microinjection techniques include the penetration of the plasma membrane and, if present, the cell wall with micropipettes, and the application of pressure or electrical currents to drive the micropipette contents into the cell. These procedures interfere with cellular functions and therefore may induce artifacts. We designed the diffusive injection micropipette (DIMP) that avoids most of the possible artifacts due to the drastically reduced volume of its fluid contents and the utilization of diffusion for cargo delivery into the target cell. DIMPs were successfully tested in plant, fungal, and animal cells. Using the continuity of cytoplasmic dynamics over ten minutes after impalement of Nicotiana trichome cells as a criterion for non-invasiveness, we found DIMPs significantly less disruptive than conventional pressure microinjection. The design of DIMPs abolishes major sources of artifacts that cannot be avoided by other microinjection techniques. Moreover, DIMPs are inexpensive, easy to produce, and can be applied without specific equipment other than a micromanipulator. With these features, DIMPs may become the tool of choice for studies that require the least invasive delivery possible of materials into live cells.
PMID: 31765880 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]