An opto-thermal approach for assembling yeast cells by laser heating of a trapped light absorbing particle

REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS(2023)

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Abstract
Cell assembly has important applications in biomedical research, which can be achieved with laser-heating induced thermal convective flow. In this paper, an opto-thermal approach is developed to assemble the yeast cells dispersed in solution. At first, polystyrene (PS) microbeads are used instead of cells to explore the method of microparticle assembly. The PS microbeads and light absorbing particles (APs) are dispersed in solution and form a binary mixture system. Optical tweezers are used to trap an AP at the substrate glass of the sample cell. Due to the optothermal effect, the trapped AP is heated and a thermal gradient is generated, which induces a thermal convective flow. The convective flow drives the microbeads moving toward and assembling around the trapped AP. Then, the method is used to assemble the yeast cells. The results show that the initial concentration ratio of yeast cells to APs affects the eventual assembly pattern. The binary microparticles with different initial concentration ratios assemble into aggregates with different area ratios. The experiment and simulation results show that the dominant factor in the area ratio of yeast cells in the binary aggregate is the velocity ratio of the yeast cells to the APs. Our work provides an approach to assemble the cells, which has a potential application in the analysis of microbes.
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Key words
laser heating,yeast cells,opto-thermal
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