Optical manipulation: a step change for biomedical science

Carl A. Campugan, Kylie R. Dunning, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The transfer of optical momentum can exert miniscule but important forces on biological specimens. This area of optical manipulation has been thriving for over 50 years. Its importance was recognised by the award of half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018 to Arthur Ashkin for the use of a single focused light beam for manipulation, namely optical tweezers. This article reviews the basic physics of trapping and gives an overview of the basic premise of the field. We particularly focus upon its importance and impact on the biomedical sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-294
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under Grant EP/P030017/1; The Hospital Research Foundation under Grant C-MCF-58-2019. CC thanks the University of Adelaide and University of Nottingham for the award of a PhD scholarship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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