Laser Tweezers   Leave a comment

Laser tweezers have been around since 1970. Although there are commercially available ones, most labs (including this one) build them. Ours is based on the one I built for NASA, but simplified even further.

Laser tweezers are very close to a science-fiction “tractor beam”. We use it to apply a force directly to the primary cilium. The main two advantages are 1) the force is applied *only* to the cilium and not the surrounding cell membrane/cytoskeleton and 2) the force is applied in a non-contact manner, avoiding involvement by any cell surface receptors.

Although laser tweezers are fairly simple to construct, they are sensitive to misalignment and the laser is very dangerous- ours will melt your eye and burn your skin/clothing.

Laser tweezers are found in many labs, and they are being used for lots of cool experiments (1) (2) (3).

Posted August 27, 2010 by resnicklab

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: