17 May 2018 Experimental and theoretical evaluation of the trapping performance of polymeric lensed optical fibers: single biological cells versus synthetic structures
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Abstract
Optical Tweezers (OTs) have been widely applied in Biology, due to their outstanding focusing abilities, which make them able to exert forces on micro-sized particles. The magnitude of such forces (pN) is strong enough to trap their targets. However, the most conventional OT setups are based on complex configurations, being associated with focusing difficulties with biologic samples. Optical Fiber Tweezers (OFTs), which consist in optical fibers with a lens in one of its extremities are valuable alternatives to Conventional Optical Tweezers (COTs). OFTs are flexible, simpler, low-cost and easy to handle. However, its trapping performance when manipulating biological and complex structures remains poorly characterized. In this study, we experimentally characterized the optical trapping of a biological cell found within a culture of rodent glial neuronal cells, using a polymeric lens fabricated through a photo-polymerization method on the top of a fiber. Its trapping performance was compared with two synthetic microspheres (PMMA, polystyrene) and two simple cells (a yeast and a Drosophila Melanogaster cell). Moreover, the experimental results were also compared with theoretical calculations made using a numerical model based on the Finite Differences Time Domain. It was found that, although the mammalian neuronal cell had larger dimensions, the magnitude of forces exerted on it was the lowest among all particles. Our results allowed us to quantify, for the first time, the complexity degree of manipulating such "demanding" cells in comparison with known targets. Thus, they can provide valuable insights about the influence of particle parameters such as size, refractive index, homogeneity degree and nature (biologic, synthetic). Furthermore, the theoretical results matched the experimental ones which validates the proposed model.
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Joana S. Paiva, Joana S. Paiva, Rita S. R. Ribeiro, Rita S. R. Ribeiro, Pedro A. S. Jorge, Pedro A. S. Jorge, Carla C. Rosa, Carla C. Rosa, Maria M. Azevedo, Maria M. Azevedo, Paula Sampaio, Paula Sampaio, Joao P. S. Cunha, Joao P. S. Cunha, } "Experimental and theoretical evaluation of the trapping performance of polymeric lensed optical fibers: single biological cells versus synthetic structures", Proc. SPIE 10685, Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care VI, 106852W (17 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2304358; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2304358
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