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Volume 4

Nano Research & Applications

ISSN: 2471-9838

Page 59

August 16-18, 2018 | Dublin, Ireland





Edition of International Conference on

Nanopharmaceutics and Advanced Drug Delivery



Nano Congress for Future Advancements

Nano Congress 2018


Nano Drug Delivery 2018

August 16-18, 2018

Nanoscale optical trapping: Current challenges and future directions


robing biological processes down to the single-molecule scale,

in vivo

, is one of the prime yet unreached goals of

biomedicine. This matters because at the most fundamental level human physiology and all biological processes are the

result of intricate actions of single proteins such as enzymes, motor proteins, DNA or RNA molecules. Common fluorescence

microscopy techniques employ luminescent bio-labels to image biological systems. They are ensemble methods which average

over the whole population of molecules and provide a coarse overview of the process under investigation. Specialized, molecule-

targeted techniques do exist. They are based on optical tweezers/traps (OTs), which allow for the manipulation of small bio-

labels to probe, for instance, pico-Newton forces of molecular motors such as kinesin, dynein and myosin. Whilst being a

great tool, OTs are limited by the size-range of objects they can address and the forces they can exert. Classical optical trapping

relies on large (~0.1-1 µm) refractive beads to work, which clashes with the push, in biomedicine, towards reaching the (sub)

nanometre-scale regime of single-molecule exploration. Also, forces within living cells can be relatively large (~10 pN) and

require a high-power laser in the OT; this is not ideal as it can result in cell damage. After reviewing the main limitations of

current OTs, author present some of the pioneering work which they are doing to overcome these limits and develop OTs

compatible with delicate biological environment and which will potentially allow for reaching size (~tens of nm) and force

regimes (~hundreds of pN) unattainable with current techniques.


Carlo Bradac is a Research Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney. He studied Physics and Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan, Italy where he achieved his

Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and Master’s degree in Engineering for Physics and Mathematics in 2006. He received his PhD in Physics at Macquarie University in 2012.

His research focuses on colour centres in diamond and on their potential use in quantum information technologies, biomedical applications and high-resolution single-spin


[email protected]

Carlo Bradac

University of Technology of Sydney, Australia

Carlo Bradac, Nano Res Appl 2018, Volume 4

DOI: 10.21767/2471-9838-C3-014