Friday, June 2, 2017

Nanophotonic trapping: precise manipulation and measurement of biomolecular arrays

James E. Baker, Ryan P. Badman, Michelle D. Wang

Optical trapping is a powerful and widely used laboratory technique in the biological and materials sciences that enables rapid manipulation and measurement at the nanometer scale. However, expanding the analytical throughput of this technique beyond the serial capabilities of established single-trap microscope-based optical tweezers remains a current goal in the field. In recent years, advances in nanotechnology have been leveraged to create innovative optical trapping methods that increase the number of available optical traps and permit parallel manipulation and measurement of arrays of optically trapped targets. In particular, nanophotonic trapping holds significant promise for integration with other lab-on-a-chip technologies to yield compact, robust analytical devices. In this review, we highlight progress in nanophotonic manipulation and measurement, as well as the potential for implementing these on-chip functionalities in biological research and biomedical applications.

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