Refractive multiple optical tweezers for parallel biochemical analysis in micro-fluidics - art. no. 64830A
We present a multiple laser tweezers system based on refractive optics. The system produces an array of 100 optical traps thanks to a refractive microlens array, whose focal plane is imaged into the focal plane of a high-NA microscope objective. This refractive multi-tweezers system is combined to micro-fluidics, aiming at performing simultaneous biochemical reactions on ensembles of free floating objects. Micro-fluidics allows both transporting the particles to the trapping area, and conveying biochemical reagents to the trapped particles. Parallel trapping in micro-fluidics is achieved with polystyrene beads as well as with native vesicles produced from mammalian cells. The traps can hold objects against fluid flows exceeding 100 micrometers per second. Parallel fluorescence excitation and detection on the ensemble of trapped particles is also demonstrated. Additionally, the system is capable of selectively and individually releasing particles from the tweezers array using a complementary steerable laser beam. Strategies for high-yield particle capture and individual particle release in a micro-fluidic environment are discussed. A comparison with diffractive optical tweezers enhances the pros and cons of refractive systems.