Green photon beams more agile than optical tweezers

Sep 18, 2013

Romanian scientists have discovered a novel approach for the optical manipulation of macromolecules and biological cells. Their findings, published in the European Physical Journal B, stem from challenging the idea that visible light would induce no physical effect on them since it is not absorbed. Instead, Sorin Comorosan, working as a physicist at the National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering based in Magurele, Romania, and as a biologist at the Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania, and colleagues, had the idea to use green photon beams. With them, it is possible to perform optical manipulation of macrostructures, such as biological proteins, with greater precision than with optical tweezers made from focused laser beams.

The authors used what are known as high-density green photon beams (HDGP). These are capable of inducing a polarisation effect, separating the positive from the negative charges within complex macrostructures. As a result, the polarised structures interact with an external electromagnetic field and with one another. The authors experimented with long carbon chains, which represent the framework of . They then used a range of physical techniques to reveal the locally induced molecular arrangements.

Comorosan and colleagues found that the effect of the beam leads to a type of matter called 'biological optical matter.' It includes newly organised material structures, such as molecular aggregates and micro-particles, and can feature new characteristics such as . The authors realised that this approach covers a larger area than focused tweezers and is capable of organising so-called mesoscopic matter—ranging from the nano to the micrometric scale— into a new 3D molecular architecture.

They then performed numerical calculations on a physical model they developed to compute the interacting force between polarisable bodies. Further study of the interaction of these polarised proteins with the body's unpolarised proteins could have far-reaching applications in immunology, genetics and epigenetics.

Explore further: Novel beams made of twisted atoms

More information: S. Comorosan et al., (2013), Optical manipulation of complex molecular systems by high density green photons: experimental and theoretical evidence, European Physical Journal B 86: 232, DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2013-40049-8

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novel beams made of twisted atoms

Aug 07, 2013

Physicists have, for the first time, now built a theoretical construct of beams made of twisted atoms. These findings by Armen Hayrapetyan and colleagues at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg in Germany ...

Elucidating energy shifts in optical tweezers

May 08, 2013

A small piece of paper sticks to an electrically charged plastic ruler. The principle of this simple classroom physics experiment is applied at the microscopic scale by so-called optical tweezers to get the likes of polystyrene ...

Butterfly inspires new nanotechnology

Sep 02, 2013

By mimicking microscopic structures in the wings of a butterfly, an international research team has developed a device smaller than the width of a human hair that could make optical communication faster and ...

Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams

Mar 15, 2012

Researchers have designed the first theoretical model that describes the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves, referred to as dark photovoltaic spatial solitons. The findings by Yuhong Zhang, a physicist from the ...

Recommended for you

Robotics goes micro-scale

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

High power laser sources at exotic wavelengths

Apr 14, 2014

High power laser sources at exotic wavelengths may be a step closer as researchers in China report a fibre optic parametric oscillator with record breaking efficiency. The research team believe this could ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Could 'Jedi Putter' be the force golfers need?

Putting is arguably the most important skill in golf; in fact, it's been described as a game within a game. Now a team of Rice engineering students has devised a training putter that offers golfers audio, ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...