Dual-beam laser traps in biology and medicine: When one beam is not enough

Graeme Whyte, Franziska Lautenschläger, Moritz Kreysing, Lars Boyde, Andrew Ekpenyong, Ulysse Delabre, Kevin Chalut, Kristian Franze, Jochen Guck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Optical traps are nowadays quite ubiquitous in biophysical and biological studies. The term is often used synonymously with optical tweezers, one particular incarnation of optical traps. However, there is another kind of optical trap consisting of two non-focused, counter-propagating laser beams. This dual-beam trap predates optical tweezers by almost two decades and currently experiences a renaissance. The advantages of dual-beam traps include lower intensities on the trapped object, decoupling from imaging optics, and the possibility to trap cells and cell clusters up to 100 microns in diameter. When used for deforming cells this trap is referred to as an optical stretcher. I will review several applications of such traps in biology and medicine for the detection of cancer cells, sorting stem cells, testing light guiding properties of retinal cells and the controlled rotation of cells for single cell tomography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII
StatePublished - Oct 27 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2010Aug 5 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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