Enhanced optical manipulation of cells using anti-reflection coated microparticles

Derek Craig, Alison McDonald, Michael Mazilu, Helen Anne Rendall, Frank J Gunn-Moore, Kishan Dholakia

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We demonstrate the use of anti-reflection (AR) coated microparticles for the enhanced optical manipulation of cells. Specifically, we incubate both CHO-K1 and HL60 cell lines with AR coated titania microparticles and subsequently performed drag force measurements using optical trapping. Direct comparisons were performed between native, polystyrene microparticle and AR microparticle tagged cells. The optical trapping efficiency was recorded by measuring the Q value in a drag force experiment. CHO-K1 cells incubated with AR microparticles show an increase in the Q value of nearly 220% versus native cells. With the inclusion of AR microparticles, cell velocities exceeding 50um/s were recorded for only 33mW of laser trapping power. Cell viability was confirmed with fluorescent dyes and cells expressing a fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle protein (FUCCI) which verified no disruption to the cell cycle in the presence of AR microparticles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1409
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number10
Early online date11 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Optical trapping
  • Dielectric tagging
  • Anti-reflection
  • Microparticles
  • Biophotonics
  • Cell viability


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