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18 October 2004 Optical manipulation of nanocontainers for biotechnology
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Abstract
We are developing optically based techniques for the manipulation of nano-containers (containers with sub-picoliter volumes) for handling chemicals in order to perform ultra-small volume chemistry. We are currently investigating three systems, liposomes, polymersomes and hydrosomes, for use as nano-containers. Liposomes and polymersomes are closed structures composed of a lipid and polymer membrane, respectively, that acts as a barrier to separate an aqueous interior environment from an aqueous exterior environment. We are typically working with liposomes or polymersomes that are approximately 10 μm in diameter. Hydrosomes are micron-sized, surfactant-stabilized water droplets that reside in a fluorocarbon environment. The optical techniques we are using include optical tweezers, for trapping and remotely moving the nano-containers, and an "optical scalpel" for localized disruption of lipid and polymer membranes in order to induce fusion of liposomes and polymersomes. In all three systems, we are able to bring together two similar nano-container using optical trapping and subsequently fuse them together, which allows their contents to mix. With the liposomes and hydrosomes we have been able to demonstrate their use for performing a controlled, elementary chemical reaction.
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Kristian Helmerson, Joseph E. Reiner, Erge Edgu-Fry, Jeffrey Wells, Rani Kishore, Laurie Locascio, and Michael Gilson "Optical manipulation of nanocontainers for biotechnology", Proc. SPIE 5514, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation, (18 October 2004); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.560018
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