Patterning Cell Using Optical Traps

Cell spatial patterns and geometric constraints are considered important factors in tissue development and disease. In order to study these factors, it is necessary to provide a useful model system for cell culture. However, the ability to localize cells with specific geometries in traditional cultures remains limited, especially at the single-cell level. As a precise method, patterning techniques allow for a more in-depth study of the fundamental features of cells, and are emerging as ideal tools for studying comprehensive heterogeneity ranging from cellular behavior to molecular expression.

Optical traps (optical tweezers) are very precise cell patterning tools that generate cell trapping force through a highly focused laser beam, and are widely used in non-invasive particle manipulation in the biological field. Traditional optical tweezers are based on a single beam, which is focused by a laser to form a three-dimensional optical trap. The movement of the laser beam can manipulate small objects. Cell arrays using optical methods allow remote manipulation and monitoring due to the inherent charge and dielectric properties of cells. Typically, optical traps can spatially trap and localize individual cells. Due to their small trapping force and high resolution, optical tweezers are also useful tools for characterizing forces and probing the viscoelastic properties of cells, nanoparticles and DNA strands.

Manipulation of hPSCs with a parylene-C assisted photonic-crystal optical tweezers system.Fig.1 Manipulation of hPSCs with a parylene-C assisted photonic-crystal optical tweezers system.

Our Optical Traps

By using optical traps, Creative Bioarray enables massively parallel operation and low-intensity light trapping. We were able to capture different individual cells on the patterned surface without affecting their viability. Specifically, we developed an integrated microfluidic device incorporating optical traps that efficiently traps individual cells. In addition, the integrated microfluidic device enables chip manipulation, Raman spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy analysis of single cells, and can also be used for quantitative and reliable single-cell gene and protein analysis. Our technology inherits the versatility of conventional optical tweezers, minimizes photothermal damage and improves trapping efficiency, enabling high-efficiency light trapping at low light intensities. We are dedicated to forming complex structures of cells, matrices and molecules with sub-micron precision to provide you with new insights into the regeneration of the microenvironment.

Our Advantages

  • High Efficiency Light Harvesting at Low Light Intensities
  • Monitoring the expression of fluorescent proteins under sterile conditions
  • High-resolution patterning
  • Avoid non-specific adhesion to electrodes and AC electric fields
  • Provide high precision positioning for small arrays and small dielectric objects

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  1. Jing P, et al. Optical tweezers system for live stem cell organization at the single-cell level. Biomed Opt Express. 2018, 9(2):771-779.
  2. Martinez-Rivas A, et al. Methods of Micropatterning and Manipulation of Cells for Biomedical Applications. Micromachines (Basel). 2017, 8(12):347.
  3. Wang Z, et al. Single-cell patterning technology for biological applications. Biomicrofluidics. 2019, 13(6):061502.
  4. Kirkham GR, et al. Precision assembly of complex cellular microenvironments using holographic optical tweezers. Sci Rep. 2015,5:8577.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
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