Optical manipulation: a step change for biomedical science

Carl A. Campugan, Kylie R. Dunning, Kishan Dholakia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


The transfer of optical momentum can exert miniscule but important forces on biological specimens. This area of optical manipulation has been thriving for over 50 years. Its importance was recognised by the award of half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018 to Arthur Ashkin for the use of a single focused light beam for manipulation, namely optical tweezers. This article reviews the basic physics of trapping and gives an overview of the basic premise of the field. We particularly focus upon its importance and impact on the biomedical sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Physics
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date2 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2021


  • Biophysics
  • Optical trap
  • Optical tweezers


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