Introduction to optical tweezers: Background, system designs, and commercial solutions

Joost van Mameren, Gijs J.L. Wuite, Iddo Heller

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Optical tweezers are a means to manipulate objects with light. With the technique, microscopically small objects can be held and steered, while forces on the trapped objects can be accurately measured and exerted. Optical tweezers can typically obtain a nanometer spatial resolution, a picoNewton force resolution, and a millisecond time resolution, which makes them excellently suited to study biological processes from the single-cell down to the single-molecule level. In this chapter, we will provide an introduction on the use of optical tweezers in single-molecule approaches. We will introduce the basic principles and methodology involved in optical trapping, force calibration, and force measurements. Next we describe the components of an optical tweezers setup and their experimental relevance in single-molecule approaches. Finally, we provide a concise overview of commercial optical tweezers systems. Commercial systems are becoming increasingly available and provide access to single-molecule optical tweezers experiments without the need for a thorough background in physics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSingle Molecule Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsErwin J. G. Peterman
PublisherHumana Press Inc
Pages3-23
Number of pages21
Edition2nd
ISBN (Electronic)9781493972715
ISBN (Print) 9781493972708, 9781493984374
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
Volume1665
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

Fingerprint

Optical Tweezers
Biological Phenomena
Optical Devices
Physics
Calibration
Light

Keywords

  • Commercial optical tweezers
  • DNA–protein interactions
  • Force spectroscopy
  • Instrument design
  • Molecular motors
  • Optical trap
  • Optical tweezers
  • Radiation pressure
  • Single molecule
  • Trap stiffness calibration

Cite this

van Mameren, J., Wuite, G. J. L., & Heller, I. (2018). Introduction to optical tweezers: Background, system designs, and commercial solutions. In E. J. G. Peterman (Ed.), Single Molecule Analysis: Methods and Protocols (2nd ed., pp. 3-23). (Methods in Molecular Biology; Vol. 1665). Humana Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7271-5_1
van Mameren, Joost ; Wuite, Gijs J.L. ; Heller, Iddo. / Introduction to optical tweezers : Background, system designs, and commercial solutions. Single Molecule Analysis: Methods and Protocols. editor / Erwin J. G. Peterman. 2nd. ed. Humana Press Inc, 2018. pp. 3-23 (Methods in Molecular Biology).
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van Mameren, J, Wuite, GJL & Heller, I 2018, Introduction to optical tweezers: Background, system designs, and commercial solutions. in EJG Peterman (ed.), Single Molecule Analysis: Methods and Protocols. 2nd edn, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1665, Humana Press Inc, pp. 3-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7271-5_1

Introduction to optical tweezers : Background, system designs, and commercial solutions. / van Mameren, Joost; Wuite, Gijs J.L.; Heller, Iddo.

Single Molecule Analysis: Methods and Protocols. ed. / Erwin J. G. Peterman. 2nd. ed. Humana Press Inc, 2018. p. 3-23 (Methods in Molecular Biology; Vol. 1665).

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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van Mameren J, Wuite GJL, Heller I. Introduction to optical tweezers: Background, system designs, and commercial solutions. In Peterman EJG, editor, Single Molecule Analysis: Methods and Protocols. 2nd ed. Humana Press Inc. 2018. p. 3-23. (Methods in Molecular Biology). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7271-5_1