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Photonic and microfluidic approaches for bioanalytical applications

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Optical tweezers have been applied for trapping mammalian eukaryotic cells for a number of decades and study continues to be important for emerging bioanalytical applications. Despite this long history, there is a lack of evidence about the trapping and the orientation of mammalian eukaryotic cells. Evidence that eukaryotic cells can be stably trapped in a focused Gaussian beam with an orientation that is defined by the nucleus will be described. Our theoretical model allows calculation of the instantaneous trapping force experienced by the cell as it moves into the Gaussian beam and fits the experimental data.

In addition to these studies, my group have been developing microfluidic-optical methods for (i) the quantification of low copy numbers of cytokines and (ii) the threading of long genomic DNA strands through channels for analysis. Some of these on-going studies will be discussed.

This talk is part of the Nanoscience Centre Seminar Series series.

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