New discovery improves Nobel Prize-winning method

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded for discoveries in laser physics, recognises optical tweezers. Now researchers from the University of Gothenburg have developed a method that greatly simplifies and improves the use of optical tweezers.

Optical tweezers were discovered in the late 1980s. They can be described as light beam fingers that can take hold of particles, atoms, molecules and even bacteria and other living cells. The technique consists of an optical laser with the ability to hold onto a single cell, for example, without damaging it. This makes it possible to make very precise measurements.

With the new discovery currently being published in Nature Communications, the prestigious scientific journal, the technique will now be considerably easier to use.

“We have managed to develop a method of measurement that is more accurate, but that uses 10 times less data and is 100 times faster than the methods currently available,” says Giovanni Volpe, senior lecturer in physics. “This means the method is completely automated and does not require any pre-set parameters to work.”

Read the full news article: New discovery improves use of optical tweezers