Cloning of several mammalian species has been achieved by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in recent years. However, this method still results in very low efficiencies around 1% which originate from suboptimal culture conditions and highly invasive techniques for oocyte enucleation and injection of the donor cell using microma-nipulators. In this paper, we present a new minimal invasive method for oocyte imaging and enucleation based on the application of femtosecond (fs) laser pulses. After imaging of the oocyte with multiphoton microscopy, ultrashort pulses are focused onto the metaphase plate of MII-oocytes in order to ablate the DNA molecules. We show that fs laser based enucleation of porcine oocytes completely inhibits the first mitotic cleavage after parthenogenetic activation while maintaining intact oocyte morphology in most cases. In contrast, control groups without previous irradiation of the metaphase plate are able to develop to the blastocyst stage. Further experiments have to clarify the suitability of fs laser based enucleated oocytes for SCNT.
© 2009 OSA/SPIEPDF Article