An approach to an established technique that is potentially applicable for a more comprehensive understanding of the electrical properties of red blood cells (RBCs) is presented. Using a high-intensity gradient laser trap, RBCs can be singly trapped and consequentially ionized. The subsequent dynamics of the ionized cell allows one to calculate the charge developed and the ionization energy (IE) through a Newtonian-based analysis. RBCs with two different hemoglobin (Hb) types were ionized. The first sample was identified as carrying Hb HbAA (normal Hb) and the second one was identified as carrying HbAC (HbC trait). By analyzing the charge developed on each cell and several other related factors, we were able to discern a difference between the main Hb types contained within the individual RBC, independent of cell size. A relationship between the charge developed and the IE of the cell was also established based on the electrical properties of RBCs. Thus, we present this laser trapping technique as a study of the electrical properties of RBCs and as possible biomedical tool to be used for the differentiation of Hb types.
Military based sensor systems are often hindered in operational deployment and/or other capabilities due to limitations in their energy storage elements. Typically operating from lithium based batteries, there is a finite amount of stored energy which the sensor can use to collect and transmit data. As a result, the sensors have reduced sensing and transmission rates. However, coupled with the latest advancements in energy harvesting, these sensors could potentially operate at standard sensing and transition rates as well as dramatically extend lifetimes. Working with the magnetostrictive material Galfenol, we demonstrate the production of enough energy to supplement and recharge a solid state battery thereby overcoming the deficiencies faced by unattended sensors. As with any vibration-based energy harvester, this solution produces an alternating current which needs to be rectified and boosted to a level conducive to recharge the storage element. This paper presents a power converter capable of efficiently converting an ultra-low AC voltage to a solid state charging voltage of 4.1VDC. While we are working with Galfenol transducers as our energy source, this converter may also be applied with any AC producing energy harvester, particularly at operating levels less than 2mW and 200mVAC.
Genetic mutation of the β-globin gene or inheritance of this mutated gene changes the chemical composition of the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin molecule that could lead to either the heterozygote genotype, resulting in sickle cell trait (SCT), or the homozygote genotype, resulting in sickle cell anemia (SCA). These mutations could affect the reversible elastic deformations of the red blood cells (RBCs) which are vital for biological functions. We have investigated this effect by studying the differences in the deformability of RBCs from blood samples of an individual with SCT and an untreated patient with SCA along with hemoglobin quantitation of each blood sample. Infrared 1064 nm laser trap force along with drag shear force are used to induce deformation in the RBCs. Ultra2-High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) is used for the hemoglobin quantitation.
A laser tweezer (LT) along with advanced imaging techniques has been widely applied to manipulate and study living as well as nonliving microscopic objects. In this study we present yet another novel application of LTs for a precise measurement of the viscosities of fluids in a micro-volume flow. We have demonstrated this novel application by measuring the viscosity of a fetal bovine serum (FBS) using a LT constructed from a single intensity gradient laser trap. By calibrating the LT using dielectric silica micro-beads in a fluid with a known viscosity, specifically water, and by suspending same size of silica beads in the FBS and trapping with the same trap, we have determined the viscosity of the FBS at different temperatures. We have used the relationship between the trapping and Stoke’s drag force for a constant drag speed to determine the viscosity. We have also analyzed the viscosities determined in comparison with corresponding viscosities measured using an Ostwald viscometer.