Holographic optical tweezers (HOT) hold great promise for many applications in biophotonics, allowing the creation and measurement of minuscule forces on biomolecules, molecular motors and cells. Geometries used in HOT currently rely on bulk optics, and their exploitation in vivo is compromised by the optically turbid nature of tissues. We present an alternative HOT approach in which multiple three-dimensional (3D) traps are introduced through a high-numerical-aperture multimode optical fibre, thus enabling an equally versatile means of manipulation through channels having cross-section comparable to the size of a single cell. Our work demonstrates real-time manipulation of 3D arrangements of micro-objects, as well as manipulation inside otherwise inaccessible cavities. We show that the traps can be formed over fibre lengths exceeding 100 mm and positioned with nanometric resolution. The results provide the basis for holographic manipulation and other high-numerical-aperture techniques, including advanced microscopy, through single-core-fibre endoscopes deep inside living tissues and other complex environments.
- Adaptive optics
- Fibre optics and optical communications
- Optical manipulation and tweezers