The advancement of blood cell research by optical tweezers

Tatiana Avsievich, Ruixue Zhu, Alexey Popov, Alexander Bykov, Igor Meglinski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Demonstration of the light radiation pressure on a microscopic level by A. Ashkin led to the invention of optical tweezers (OT). Applied in the studies of living systems, OT have become a preferable instrument for the noninvasive study of microobjects, allowing manipulation and measurement of the mechanical properties of molecules, organelles, and cells. In the present paper, we overview OT applications in hemorheological research, placing emphasis on red blood cells but also discussing OT applications for the investigation of the biomechanics of leukocytes and platelets. Blood properties have always served as a primary parameter in medical diagnostics due to the interconnection with the physiological state of an organism. Despite blood testing being a well-established procedure of conventional medicine, there are still many complex processes that must be unraveled to improve our understanding and contribute to future medicine. OT are advancing single-cell research, promising new insights into individual cell characteristics compared to the traditional approaches. We review the fundamental and practical findings revealed in blood research through the optical manipulation, stretching, guiding, immobilization, and inter-/intracellular force measurements of single blood cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100043
JournalReviews in Physics
Early online date6 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


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