Alignment of biological microparticles by a polarized laser beam

G. Garab, P. Galajda, István Pomozi, Laura Finzi, Tünde Praznovszky, P. Ormos, Herbert Van Amerongen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The optical alignment of biological samples is of great relevance to microspectrometry and to the micromanipulation of single particles. Recently, Bayoudh et al. (J. Mod. Opt. 50:1581-1590, 2003) have shown that isolated, disk-shaped chloroplasts can be aligned in a controlled manner using an in-plane-polarized Gaussian beam trap, and suggested that this is due to their nonspherical shape. Here we demonstrate that the orientation of various micrometer-sized isolated biological particles, trapped by optical tweezers, can be altered in a controlled way by changing the plane of linear polarization of the tweezers. In addition to chloroplasts, we show that subchloroplast particles of small size and irregular overall shape, aggregated photosynthetic light-harvesting protein complexes as well as chromosomes can be oriented with the linearly polarized beam of the tweezers. By using a laser scanning confocal microscope equipped with a differential polarization attachment, we also measured the birefringence of magnetically oriented granal chloroplasts, and found that they exhibit strong birefringence with large local variations, which appears to originate from stacked membranes. The size and sign of the birefringence are such that the resulting anisotropic interaction with the linearly polarized laser beam significantly contributes to the torque orienting the chloroplasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Fingerprint

Chloroplasts
Birefringence
Lasers
Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
Micromanipulation
Optical Tweezers
Torque
Particle Size
Chromosomes
Membranes

Keywords

  • Birefringence
  • Chloroplast
  • Chromosome
  • Laser tweezers
  • Optical alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

Alignment of biological microparticles by a polarized laser beam. / Garab, G.; Galajda, P.; Pomozi, István; Finzi, Laura; Praznovszky, Tünde; Ormos, P.; Van Amerongen, Herbert.

In: European Biophysics Journal, Vol. 34, No. 4, 06.2005, p. 335-343.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Garab, G. ; Galajda, P. ; Pomozi, István ; Finzi, Laura ; Praznovszky, Tünde ; Ormos, P. ; Van Amerongen, Herbert. / Alignment of biological microparticles by a polarized laser beam. In: European Biophysics Journal. 2005 ; Vol. 34, No. 4. pp. 335-343.
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