Journal article

Intracellular nanomanipulation by a photonic-force microscope with real-time acquisition of a 3D stiffness matrix

A traditional photonic-force microscope (PFM) results in huge sets of data, which requires tedious numerical analysis. In this paper, we propose instead an analog signal processor to attain real-time capabilities while retaining the richness of the traditional PFM data. Our system is devoted to intracellular measurements and is fully interactive through the use of a haptic joystick. Using our specialized analog hardware along with a dedicated algorithm, we can extract the full 3D stiffness matrix of the optical trap in real time, including the off-diagonal cross-terms. Our system is also capable of simultaneously recording data for subsequent offline analysis. This allows us to check that a good correlation exists between the classical analysis of stiffness and our real-time measurements. We monitor the PFM beads using an optical microscope. The force-feedback mechanism of the haptic joystick helps us in interactively guiding the bead inside living cells and collecting information from its ( possibly anisotropic) environment. The instantaneous stiffness measurements are also displayed in real time on a graphical user interface. The whole system has been built and is operational; here we present early results that confirm the consistency of the real-time measurements with offline computations.

Related material