Cells and biomolecules can be freely handled with an optical hand.

  • Utilize laser beam to freely trap or remove cells, biomolecules, and etc. with non-contact method.
  • 1064nm near-infrared laser trapping minimizes the damage on cells and biomolecules.
  • A particle of 1μm can also be trapped.
  • Two-beam optical system enables multiple operations such as stretching the micro-object or pressing them each other.
    Two beams can also be individually controlled.
  • Vibration Isolation Table(option) provides you high stability in operation.

Granule in a living cell is optically trapped
Altering orientation of a cell with 2 beams


Theory of laser tapping

Refraction of light can explain the theory of Laser trapping. Picture on the right shows laser beam shaped by an objective lens trapping a globular particle that has different index of refraction from a medium.
A photon which passes through an optical path A shifts its progressing direction due to two refractions in incidence toward and from a particle. Momentum of a photon alters before and after passing through a particle, thus a particle receives impetus of counter turn from its shift. This force is indicated Fa in the figure. When this force is integrated with full laser beam, a particle gets trapped in equilibrium point as a vector of integrated force always heads toward the optical focal point.


An example of optical system

Micro Manipulation System consists of light-source part deriving from a laser head and beam collimator, and optical system to operate laser beam within microscopic view by leading it into microscope, both of which are held in main body. The beam from a laser head is adjusted to the objective lens in use, then, splitted into two. Each beam traps particles by condensing through an objective lens after being lead to a microscope with the identical optical path after reflecting through movable mirrors so that they can be freely moved within microscopic view.


It is a means of wrapping cells or particles or etc., using radiation pressure of light occurred in laser irradiation to an object, like seizing an object with a pair of tweezers, which was first thought up by Arthur Ashkin in 1970s. Recent applications of its feature, the feasibility in trapping particles of μm order, to engineering science, medical science, biology, etc., have been reported and it made the development of this device be watched with keen interest.

OptoSigma's Micro Manipulation System has realized introduction of laser in optical unit by application of Opticsand Opto-mechanics produced by OptoSigma which enabled space-saving and high efficiency.

Optical System for 1laser 2beam type

A new lineup of Laser Optical tweezers (Details in PDF) - Mini type is now available.

  • 1064nm near-infrared laser trapping minimizes the damage on cells and biomolecules.
  • Laser irradiation is fixed to center of field of view in microscope.
  • Downsized optical unit is directly connectable to the microscope port.
  • Optional microscope motorized stage system broaden the variety of biological applications.


Advantages of Mini type Laser Optical tweezers

  • Entry model with competitive prices.
  • Directly connected to the existing microscope port, which offers great extensibility.
    (Please inform us of the manufacturer and model number of your existing microscope when inquiring.)
  • Upgrading to the full-featured Micro Manipulation System is available.
    (Reutilizing the 2W trapping laser and the internal optical elements are possible. Please contact to the sales for details.)
  • Laser optical tweezers are usuful tool for various types of feasibility test and applications of near-infrared irradiation.
Chlamydomonas of optically trapped. (Combination Motorized XY stage system for microscopes)
Laser Optical tweezers for optical system



A system to trigger expression of desired genes under biological microscope.

  • Localized heating feature with 1480nm near infrared laser
  • Simultaneous application of laser irradiation and fluorescent observation is possible
  • Add-on type system for existing upright/inverted fluorescence microscopes (Adaptive models: Olympus BX Series, IX Series Nikon Ti, TE2000)
Optical System for 1laser 2beam type

What is IR-LEGO ?

Infrared Laser-Evoked Gene Operator (IR-LEGO) is developed as the world’s first technology by consolidated research team led by Dr. Shunsuke Yuba at National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). This is a technique to induce specified genes that are under the control of a heat shock promoter at defined time, by heating single cells that consist of genetically-modified organisms, with an infrared laser. IR-LEGO could be adopted to all the genetically-modified experimental organisms that the heat shock promoters function and the internal focus of infrared laser are available. Because of its high efficiency and reproducibility, and less detrimental effect from laser, IR-LEGO is a new and prospective tool for future gene function analysis.


Applications of IR-LEGO for Various Species

Utilizing a strain (cell) that carries a heat shock promoter driven transgene, an infrared (IR) laser is irradiated at parts indicated by white arrowhead marks.

[A]  Example of induced RFP expression by IR laser irradiation on the GFP marked neuron of the nematode (C. elegans) The white arrow indicate a neuron not irradiated.
The red flourescence by RFP is obtained on a neuron and neuraxon that irradiated by a laser (white arrowhead).

[Photo credit] Dr. Motoshi Suzuki & Dr. Shin Takagi, Nagoya University

[B]  Example of induced GFP expression by IR laser irradiation on a pineal gland of medaka (O. latipes) larvae.

[Photo credit]
Dr. Tomonori Deguchi,
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
Dr. Yasuhiro Kamei,
National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB)

[C]  Example of induced Kaede expression by IR laser irradiation (2 points) on a part of zebrafish (D. relio) retina.
Kaede is partially photoconverted after its expression (purple arrow).

[Photo credit] Dr. Mariko Itoh & Dr. Kohei Hatta, University of Hyogo

[D]  Example of induced GUS expression by IR laser irradiation on lateral root tips of Arabidopsis (A. thaliana).

[Photo credit] Dr. Hiroko Urawa & Dr. Kiyotaka Okada,National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB)

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