Cell manipulation with robot-aided optical tweezers technology

Songyu Hu, Youhua Tan, Dong Sun

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


All rights are reserved. Increasing demands for both accuracy and productivity in cell manipulation highlight the need for the use of robotics technologies. Optical tweezers are known for the ability to impose force and deformation on a micro-scaled object in a noninvasive manner. In this chapter, we introduce an integration of robotics technology into optical tweezers system for cell manipulation at single cell level, where optical tweezers function as special robot end effectors. Two particular cell manipulation researches are introduced: one is cell stretching for biomechanical property characterization, and the other is automated cell transportation for rapid and precise cell positioning in many biomedical applications. In cell stretching, a mechanical model of the optically stretched cell is developed, based on which cell stiffness can be extracted and biomechanical property can be characterized. Experiments are performed on human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and hESC-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CM) to clarify changes in mechano-membrane property during cardiac differentiation. In cell positioning, based on dynamics analysis of the trapped cell in motion, a closed-loop controller is designed for cell transportation, which is further verified by experimental tests on live cells. These approaches successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of the robot-aided optical tweezers technology in cell manipulation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelected Topics in Micro/Nano-robotics for Biomedical Applications
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781441984111
ISBN (Print)1441984100, 9781441984104
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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