optic tweezers

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optic tweezers

conceptual description of laser beams that are used to trap and manipulate small particles (for example, cells or molecules). These beams of light act rather like small tweezers that can exert forces due to the differences in the index of refraction between the medium and the particle suspended in that medium. A laser beam, focused through a lens of high numeric aperture, has the ability to lock into position microscopic particles, a mechanism known as a laser trap.
Synonym(s): laser tweezers
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While these laser tweezers could be useful for all kinds of nanotechnology, Jones says they carry the most promise for biology.
Chandsawangbhuwana et al., "Use of laser tweezers to analyze sperm motility and mitochondrial membrane potential," Journal of Biomedical Optics, vol.
Laser tweezers are continuous-wave, low-power laser beams that can optically trap individual bacteria, protozoa, and molecules.
Researchers can use laser tweezers to learn the mechanical details needed to overcome resistant strains in bacteria--which can lead the way to more sophisticated antibiotics.
selected a bead and then focused the laser tweezers onto the bead.
This time, the researchers attached a bead to each end of a DNA molecule, with one end held fast by suction and the other slowly pulled away using laser tweezers.
For Buican, the snap reaction paid off nicely: He eventually left Los Alamos to help found Cell Robotics, Albuquerque, NM, a company that now markets a laser tweezers that attaches to commercial microscopes.
Laser tweezers don't actually squeeze, but they allow researchers to lift up, move, and position microscopic objects, using the pressure of the laser light itself -- a phenomenon akin to a blast of air levitating a plastic ball.