Molecular Machines & Industries

New Application Note: Optical trapping and force spectroscopy of non-spherical rod-shaped bacteria and diatoms

Optical tweezers are emerging tools for manipulating living cells and sub-cellular structures in a contact-free and contamination-free way. The MMI CellManipulator offers modular design with specialized optics to achieve maximum trapping forces and stability. In this study, we demonstrated that the MMI CellManipulator optical tweezers system is an easy to use system to create stable and adjustable trapping forces which is applied to manipulate rod-shaped living organisms such as bacteria and diatoms. Optical tweezers are known to sufficiently trap spherical particles but facing difficulties in manipulating the elongated objects. This study highlights that optical trapping can also be applied for elongated cells. Interestingly, the rod-shaped cells orient themselves along the laser beam axis. This study opens the door to further trapping experiments with rod-shaped organisms, especially including force spectroscopy measurements in physiological conditions.

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