Optical Tweezers: A Practical Guide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Optical tweezers, or the single-beam optical gradient force trap, is becoming a major tool in biology for noninvasive micromanipulation on an optical microscope. The principles and practical aspects that influence construction are presented in an introductory primer. Quantitative theories are also reviewed but have yet to supplant user calibration. Various biological applications are summarized, including recent quantitative force and displacement measurements. Finally, tantalizing developments for new, nonimaging microscopy techniques based on optical tweezers are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995


  • laser optical force trap
  • micromanipulation
  • optical microscopy
  • optical trapping
  • Optical tweezers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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