Light forces the pace: Optical manipulation for biophotonics

David James Stevenson, Frank Gunn-Moore, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


The biomedical sciences have benefited immensely from photonics technologies in the last 50 years. This includes the application of minute forces that enable the trapping and manipulation of cells and single molecules. In terms of the area of biophotonics, optical manipulation has made a seminal contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of single molecules and the microrheology of cells. Here we present a review of optical manipulation, emphasizing its impact on the areas of single-molecule studies and single-cell biology, and indicating some of the key experiments in the fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041503
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for Funding and the EU Network of Excellence PHOTONICS4LIFE. K.D. is a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award Holder.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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