Transplantation of a single hematopoietic stem cell is an important method for its functional characterization, but the standard transplantation protocol relies on cell homing to the bone marrow after intravenous injection. Here, we present a method to transplant single cells directly into the bone marrow of live mice. We developed an optical platform that integrates a multiphoton microscope with a laser ablation unit for microsurgery and an optical tweezer for cell micromanipulation. These tools allow image-guided single cell transplantation with high spatial control. The platform was used to deliver single hematopoietic stem cells. The engraftment of transplants was tracked over time, illustrating that the technique can be useful for studying both normal and malignant stem cells in vivo.
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