An optical two-beam trap, composed from two counter propagating laser beams, is an interesting setup due to the ability of the system to trap, hold, and stretch soft biological objects like vesicles or single cells. Because of this functionality, the system was also named "the optical stretcher" by Jochen Guck, Josep Käs and co-workers some 15 years ago. In a favorable setup, the two opposing laser beams meet with equal intensities in the middle of a fluidic channel in which cells may flow past, be trapped, stretched, and allowed to move on, giving the promise of a high throughput device. Yet, single beam optical traps, aka optical tweezers, by far outnumber the existing optical stretchers in research labs throughout the world. The ability to easily construct an optical stretcher setup in a low-cost material would possibly imply more frequent use of the optical stretching technique. Here, we will outline the design, the production procedures, and results obtained in a fiber-based experimental setup built within an injection molded microfluidic polymer chip. The microfluidic chip is constructed with a three layer technology in which we ensure both horizontal and vertical focusing of the cells we wish to trap, thereby preventing too many cells to flow below the line of focus of the two counter propagating laser beams that are positioned perpendicular to the direction of flow of the cells. Results will be compared to that from other designs from previous work in the group.
Marta Espina Palanco, Darmin Catak, Rodolphe Marie, Marco Matteucci, Brian Bilenberg, Anders Kristensen, and Kirstine Berg-Sørensen, "Optical two-beam trap in a polymer microfluidic chip," Proc. SPIE 9922, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIII, 992213 (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 30, 2016; Published: 16 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236465.
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