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Optical Tweezers

Optical Tweezers

Detail Description

MMI CellManipulator: A powerful optical multibeam tweezers system based on the mechanical forces arising from a strongly focused laser beam. It enables comfortable, ultra-precise and contact-free manipulation of microscopic particles, single or living cells, or subcellular organisms and the measurement of intracellular activities. Thus, it can hold, move, rotate, join, separate, stretch or otherwise manipulate up to 2 x10 microscopic objects simultaneously or separately in three dimensions. The wavelength of the laser does not interfere with the integrity of living specimens. Cell sorting and cell positioning can also be accomplished together with the quadrant detector allows routine force-distance measurements or viscosities at sub cellular level, so called Force Spectroscopy. Even a feedback module is available for isometric force detections and force clamping. Due to multiple ports and dual-level laser integration, the seamless use of different modules and imaging technologies is possible and can be mounted on numerous brands of microscope from entry level, mid-range to high end.

The principle of MMI CellManipulator

Optical Tweezers are capable of manipulating micrometer-sized dielectric particles, living cells, or subcellular organisms by exerting pico Newton forces via a highly focused laser beam. The beam is focused by sending it through a microscope objective. The narrowest point of the focused beam, known as the beam waist, contains a very strong light gradient. Dielectric particles are attracted along the gradient to the region of brightest light, the center of the beam. Using an infrared laser an invisible optical trap is created.

3D ray optics model is illustrating the scattering and the gradient force:

A: Scattering force: The reflection of rays produces momentum in the opposite direction, resulting in a net force along the direction of laser propagation.
B: Gradient force: When the bead or cell is not in the beam’s center, the larger momentum change of the more intense rays causes a net force that pulls the bead back towards the center of the trap.
C: Gradent force: When the bead or cell is literally centered in the beam, the net force points toward the focal point of the beam.

Features & Benefits:

•Strongest trap with > 800 pico Newton

•Excellent longterm stability

•One or two tweezer levels for up to 2 x 10 traps

•Full control of laser power and focus

•Ultra-precise positioning of each single trap

•High modularity for a wide range of applications

•Extremely compact laser box and controller

•Force detection 0.2 - 800 pico Newton

•Fully automated data acquisition and live data displays

•Up-to-date laser safety concepts


•Nikon Ti-S, Ti-E, Ni-U, Ni-E, A-1

•Olympus IX53, IX73, IX83, FV1000

•Zeiss Axio Observer, LSM 780

•Others on request


•MBPS quadrant detector for ultra-precise position detection, used for force calculations

•High precision XYZ Piezo scanning stage

•High end imaging (Fluorescence or Bright field scanning, Confocal, TIRF)

•RAMAN Spectoscropy

•Spinning Disc

•MMI CellCut laser microdissection system for cutting and ablation of biological and technical material

•MMI CellEctor for capillary based single cell sorting 

•MMI CellExplorer cell recognition software

•Customized adapations due to individual needs

•Service contracts, trainings, upgrades

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