Optical disassembly of cellular clusters by tunable 'tug-of-war' tweezers

Bezryadina, Anna S., Preece, Daryl C., Chen, Joseph C. and Chen, Zhigang (2016) Optical disassembly of cellular clusters by tunable 'tug-of-war' tweezers. Light-Science and Applications, 5 e16158: . doi:10.1038/lsa.2016.158


Author Bezryadina, Anna S.
Preece, Daryl C.
Chen, Joseph C.
Chen, Zhigang
Title Optical disassembly of cellular clusters by tunable 'tug-of-war' tweezers
Journal name Light-Science and Applications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2047-7538
2095-5545
Publication date 2016-10-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/lsa.2016.158
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue e16158
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 2504 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
3107 Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
Abstract Bacterial biofilms underlie many persistent infections, posing major hurdles in antibiotic treatment. Here we design and demonstrate 'tug-of-war' optical tweezers that can facilitate the assessment of cell-cell adhesion-a key contributing factor to biofilm development, thanks to the combined actions of optical scattering and gradient forces. With a customized optical landscape distinct from that of conventional tweezers, not only can such 'tug-of-war' tweezers stably trap and stretch a rod-shaped bacterium in the observing plane, but, more importantly, they can also impose a tunable lateral force that pulls apart cellular clusters without any tethering or mechanical movement. As a proof of principle, we examined a Sinorhizobium meliloti strain that forms robust biofilms and found that the strength of intercellular adhesion depends on the growth medium. This technique may herald new photonic tools for optical manipulation and biofilm study, as well as other biological applications.
Formatted abstract
Bacterial biofilms underlie many persistent infections, posing major hurdles in antibiotic treatment. Here we design and demonstrate ‘tug-of-war’ optical tweezers that can facilitate the assessment of cell–cell adhesion—a key contributing factor to biofilm development, thanks to the combined actions of optical scattering and gradient forces. With a customized optical landscape distinct from that of conventional tweezers, not only can such ‘tug-of-war’ tweezers stably trap and stretch a rod-shaped bacterium in the observing plane, but, more importantly, they can also impose a tunable lateral force that pulls apart cellular clusters without any tethering or mechanical movement. As a proof of principle, we examined a Sinorhizobium meliloti strain that forms robust biofilms and found that the strength of intercellular adhesion depends on the growth medium. This technique may herald new photonic tools for optical manipulation and biofilm study, as well as other biological applications.
Keyword Bacterial adhesion
Biofilm
Optical forces
Ooptical manipulation
Tug-of-war optical tweezers
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID R15 GM112117
SC3 GM096943
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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