Biological samples micro-manipulation by means of optical tweezers

E. Ferrari*, V. Emiliani, D. Cojoc, V. Garbin, M. Zahid, C. Durieux, M. Coppey-Moisan, E. Di Fabrizio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The goal of this work is to investigate the usefulness of the optical tweezers for biological sample micro-manipulation. We report multiple optical trapping and manipulation of Escherichia coli cells, immersed in growth medium, by means of diffractive optical elements (DOE). The DOEs are implemented on a spatial light modulator to generate movable geometries of traps. We report also an experiment that allows to mimic the mechanical environment of cells in tissues. Micro-meter sized beads are trapped in circular geometry in order to surround living cells. By dynamically varying the geometry of the configuration and the trapping forces, we can reproduce a controlled environment where only mechanical stimuli are present and biological responses can be monitored. These experiments have been implemented in two different setups. In the first, cell manipulation is performed by the use of two-dimensional optical tweezers system generated by dual axis acousto-optical deflectors. In the second setup, trapping configuration is extended to three-dimensional volumes using DOEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-581
Number of pages7
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 30th International Conference on Micro- and Nano-Engineering -
Duration: Sep 19 2004Sep 22 2004


  • Acousto-optic deflectors
  • Cell manipulation
  • Diffractive optical elements
  • Instrumentation measurement and metrology
  • Optical tweezers
  • Spatial light modulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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