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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Measuring electrical and mechanical properties of red blood cells with double optical tweezers
Author(s): Adriana Fontes; Heloise P. Fernandes; André Alexandre de Thomaz; Luiz Carlos Barbosa; Maria Lourdes Barjas-Castro; Carlos Lenz Cesar
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Paper Abstract

Red blood cell (RBC) aggregation in the blood stream is prevented by the zeta potential created by its negatively charged membrane. There are techniques, however, to decrease the zeta potential and allow cell agglutination, which are the basis of most of antigen-antibody tests used in immunohematology. We propose the use of optical tweezers to measure membrane viscosity, adhesion, zeta potential, and the double layer thickness of charges (DLT) formed around the cell in an electrolytic solution. For the membrane viscosity experiment, we trap a bead attached to RBCs and measure the force to slide one RBC over the other as a function of the velocity. Adhesion is quantified by displacing two RBCs apart until disagglutination. The DLT is measured using the force on the bead attached to a single RBC in response to an applied voltage. The zeta potential is obtained by measuring the terminal velocity after releasing the RBC from the trap at the last applied voltage. We believe that the methodology proposed here can provide information about agglutination, help to improve the tests usually performed in transfusion services, and be applied for zeta potential measurements in other samples.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2008
PDF: 6 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 13(1) 014001 doi: 10.1117/1.2870108
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 13, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Adriana Fontes, Univ. Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil)
Heloise P. Fernandes, Univ. Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)
André Alexandre de Thomaz, Univ. Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)
Luiz Carlos Barbosa, Univ. Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)
Maria Lourdes Barjas-Castro, Univ. Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)
Carlos Lenz Cesar, Univ. Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)

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