Bubble wrap for optical trapping and cell culturing

Craig McDonald (Lead / Corresponding author), David McGloin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we demonstrate that the bubbles of bubble wrap make ideal trapping chambers for integration with low-cost optical manipulation. The interior of the bubbles is sterile and gas permeable, allowing for the bubbles to be used to store and culture cells, while the flat side of the bubble wrap is of sufficient optical quality to allow for optical trapping inside the bubbles. Through the use of a 100 W bulb to cure hanging droplets of PDMS, a low-cost optical trapping system was constructed. Effector T cells were cultured in bubble wrap for 8 days and then trapped with the PDMS droplet based optical manipulation. These techniques further demonstrate the opportunities for biophysical analysis afforded through repurposing common materials in resource-limited settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3757-3764
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number10
Early online date3 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


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