Light-induced dielectrophorsis, or optoelectronic tweezers (OET), provides a dynamic, non-contact, non-invasive optical cell manipulation technique with single cell resolution. OET features a low optical intensity requirement, allowing a large manipulation area for high throughput and preventing potential optical damages. We have designed and fabricated the phototransistor-based OET(Ph-OET) device that enables manipulation of cells in cell culture media. Recently development includes a integrated system for long-term live-cell imaging of mammalian cells with continuous optical trapping. There is a fast growing demand in long-term cell imaging systems, which has already been commercialized by many major microscope providers. Combining the non-invasive optical trapping with long-term cell imaging provide unique advantages, including better images, more reliable experiments, cell separation capability, and single cell lineage tracking. We believe OET has the potential to be widely used in stem cell and cancer researches, where long-term single cell study will become a routine.
Project end date: 08/19/11