New biodiagnostics based on optical tweezers: Typing red blood cells, and identification of drug resistant bacteria

Jia Wen Chen, Chuen Fu Lin, Shyang Guang Wang, Yi Chieh Lee, Chung Han Chiang, Min Hui Huang, Yi Hsiung Lee, Guy Vitrant, Ming Jeng Pan, Horng-Mo Lee, Yi Jui Liu, Patrice L. Baldeck, Chih Lang Lin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Measurements of optical tweezers forces on biological micro-objects can be used to develop innovative biodiagnostics methods. In the first part of this report, we present a new sensitive method to determine A, B, D types of red blood cells. Target antibodies are coated on glass surfaces. Optical forces needed to pull away RBC from the glass surface increase when RBC antigens interact with their corresponding antibodies. In this work, measurements of stripping optical forces are used to distinguish the major RBC types: group O Rh(+), group A Rh(+) and group B Rh(+). The sensitivity of the method is found to be at least 16-folds higher than the conventional agglutination method. In the second part of this report, we present an original way to measure in real time the wall thickness of bacteria that is one of the most important diagnostic parameters of bacteria drug resistance in hospital diagnostics. The optical tweezers force on a shell bacterium is proportional to its wall thickness. Experimentally, we determine the optical tweezers force applied on each bacteria family by measuring their escape velocity. Then, the wall thickness of shell bacteria can be obtained after calibrating with known bacteria parameters. The method has been successfully applied to indentify, from blind tests, Methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), including VSSA (NCTC 10442), VISA (Mu 50), and heto-VISA (Mu 3).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation X
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation X - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 25 2013Aug 29 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation X
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • RBC types
  • VISA
  • VSSA
  • bacteria drug-resistance
  • bacteria wall thickness
  • biodiagnostics
  • hetero-VISA
  • optical tweezers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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