New Method Improves Optical Tweezer Use

A group of scientists has greatly devised a method to simplify and improve optical tweezer use.

In the late 1980s, the optical tweezer discovery was made. They are light beam fingers that can grasp particles, atoms, molecules, and even bacteria and other living cells. The method uses an optical laser that can hold onto a single cell, for example, without damaging it. It allows for highly accurate measurements.

The need to precisely calibrate the optical laser has been challenging using an optical tweezer. Before beginning measurements with optical tweezers, researchers must know exactly what they want to look at and how they want it. The technique will now be much easier to use due to the discovery.

They developed a more accurate measurement method that uses 10 times less data and is 100 times faster than existing methods. The method is completely automated and does not rely on any pre-programmed parameters to function.

Optical tweezer technology can now be used in pharmaceutical research rather than in physics laboratories. The new method is the possibility of studying systems that are not in equilibrium, systems that are in flux. According to the researchers, optical tweezers can now measure tiny forces in biological applications. The method also allows for analyzing what is known as extended force fields.

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