The advancement of blood cell research by optical tweezers


Demonstration of the light radiation pressure on a microscopic level by A. Ashkin led to the invention of optical tweezers (OT). Applied in the studies of living systems, OT have become a preferable instrument for the noninvasive study of microobjects, allowing manipulation and measurement of the mechanical properties of molecules, organelles, and cells. In the present paper, we overview OT applications in hemorheological research, placing emphasis on red blood cells but also discussing OT applications for the investigation of the biomechanics of leukocytes and platelets. Blood properties have always served as a primary parameter in medical diagnostics due to the interconnection with the physiological state of an organism. Despite blood testing being a well-established procedure of conventional medicine, there are still many complex processes that must be unraveled to improve our understanding and contribute to future medicine. OT are advancing single-cell research, promising new insights into individual cell characteristics compared to the traditional approaches. We review the fundamental and practical findings revealed in blood research through the optical manipulation, stretching, guiding, immobilization, and inter-/intracellular force measurements of single blood cells.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Engineering and Technology > Mechanical, Biomedical & Design
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physics and Astronomy(all)
Publication ISSN: 2405-4283
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.sci ... 006X?via%3Dihub (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-11-01
Published Online Date: 2020-06-06
Accepted Date: 2020-05-22
Authors: Avsievich, Tatiana
Zhu, Ruixue
Popov, Alexey
Bykov, Alexander
Meglinski, Igor (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-7613-8191)

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