16 September 2016 Fiber-based optical trapping for cell mechanics study and microrheology
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In this work, we developed fiber based optical trapping system and explored its applications in biology and physics. We aim to replace objective lenses with optical fibers, both for optical trapping and particle position detection. Compared with objective lens based counterparts, fiber based optical trapping systems are small, low-cost, integratable, independent of objective lenses, and can work in turbid mediums. These advantages make fiber optical trapping systems ideal for applications in tightly confined spaces as well as integration with various microscopy techniques.

We demonstrate the applications of fiber optical trapping systems in both single-cell mechanics and microrheology study of asphalt binders. Fiber optical trapping system is being used to study mechanical properties of viscoelastic hydrogel, as an important extra cellular matrix (ECM) material that is used to understand the force propagation on cell membranes on 2D substrates or in 3D compartments. Moreover, the fiber optical trapping system has also been demonstrated to measure the cellular response to the external mechanical stimuli. Direct measurements of cellular traction forces in 3D compartments are underway. In addition, fiber optical trapping systems are used to measure the microscale viscoelastic properties of asphalt binders, in order to improve the fundamental understanding of the relationship between mechanical and chemical properties of asphalt binders. This fundamental understanding could help targeted asphalt recycling and pavement maintenance. Fiber optical trapping systems are versatile and highly potential tools that can find applications in various areas ranging from mechanobiology to complex fluids.
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Chaoyang Ti, Chaoyang Ti, Gawain M. Thomas, Gawain M. Thomas, Xiaokong Yu, Xiaokong Yu, Qi Wen, Qi Wen, Mingjiang Tao, Mingjiang Tao, Yuxiang Liu, Yuxiang Liu, "Fiber-based optical trapping for cell mechanics study and microrheology", Proc. SPIE 9922, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIII, 99222S (16 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2239078; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2239078

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