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Fiber-optic trap-on-a-chip platform for probing low refractive index contrast biomaterials

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Abstract

Dual-beam fiber trapping is a versatile technique for manipulating microparticles. We fabricate and evaluate the performance of a compact trap-on-a-chip design and demonstrate, for what we believe is the first time, trapping of low-contrast (m<1.005) lipid vesicles in solution. Counterpropagating fibers are fixed along the chip channel, and we calibrate the trap by optically displacing polystyrene microspheres from the trap center. Measured scattering forces are 3049pN from each beam. Stable trapping and reversible deformation of lipid vesicles is demonstrated under femtonewton trapping forces. This chip has applications in probing a variety of soft biomaterials, such as biological cells, lipid membranes, and protein assemblies.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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