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Proceedings Paper

Stretching of red blood cells by optical tweezers quantified by digital holographic microscopy
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Paper Abstract

Red blood cells (RBC) possess unique viscoelastic characteristics which allow them to pass through capillaries narrower than their size. Measurement of viscoelastic property of cells (e.g. RBC) in low-force regime is of high significance as it represents conditions of membrane fluctuation in response to physiological conditions. Estimation of visco-elastic properties of RBC requires measurement of extent of deformation in RBC subjected to known force. Optical tweezers, being gentle and absolutely sterile, are emerging as the tool of choice for application of localized force on cells. However, stretching of RBC in very low force regime has not been quantified. Further, though deformations in transverse directions have been measured, vertical deformations due to stretching of cells cannot be quantified by classical microscopic images. Here, we report realization of offaxis digital holographic microscopy (DHM) for highly sensitive axial changes in RBC shape due to stretching by optical tweezers without attaching microscopic beads. The RBC was stretched in axial direction with nanometer precision by change of divergence of the trapping beam. The obtained deformation patterns were compared with the axial position of the tweezers focus. Since the pathophysiology of progression of diseases like malaria and cancer is reflected in the biophysical (both mechanical and material) properties of the cells, it is possible to identify the changes by simultaneous measurement of refractive index and elasticity using this approach.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 February 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7897, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXII, 78971J (28 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.875981
Show Author Affiliations
Nelson Cardenas, The Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
Lingfeng Yu, Nanoscope Technologies LLC (United States)
Samarendra K. Mohanty, The Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7897:
Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXII
E. Duco Jansen; Robert J. Thomas, Editor(s)

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