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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Orientational dynamics of human red blood cells in an optical trap
Author(s): Praveen Parthasarathi; Belavadi V. Nagesh; Yogesha Lakkegowda; Shruthi S. Lyengar; Sharath Ananthamurthy; Sarbari Bhattacharya
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Paper Abstract

We report here on studies of reorientation of human red blood cells (RBCs) in an optical trap. We have measured the time required, t re , for the plane of the RBC entering the optical trap to undergo a 90-deg rotation to acquire an edge on orientation with respect to the beam direction. This has been studied as a function of laser power, P , at the trap center. The variation of t re with increasing P shows an initial sharp decrease followed by a much smaller rate of further decrease. We find that this experimentally measured variation is not in complete agreement with the variation predicted by a theoretical model where the RBC is treated as a perfectly rigid circular disk-like body. We argue that this deviation arises due to deformation of the RBC. We further reason that this feature is dominated by the elastic behavior of the RBC membrane. We compare the studies carried out on normal RBCs with RBCs where varying conditions of membrane stiffness are expected. We propose that the value of energy used for maximum deformation possible during a reorientation process is an indicator of the membrane elasticity of the system under study.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 2013
PDF: 10 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 18(2) 025001 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.2.025001
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 18, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Praveen Parthasarathi, Bangalore Univ. (India)
Belavadi V. Nagesh, Bangalore Univ. (India)
Yogesha Lakkegowda, Bangalore Univ. (India)
Shruthi S. Lyengar, Bangalore Univ. (India)
Sharath Ananthamurthy, Bangalore Univ. (India)
Sarbari Bhattacharya, Bangalore Univ. (India)

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