Real time characterization of hydrodynamics in optically trapped networks of micro-particles

Arran Curran, Alison M. Yao, Graham M. Gibson, Richard Bowman, Jon M. Cooper, Miles L. Padgett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The hydrodynamic interactions of micro-silica spheres trapped in a variety of networks using holographic optical tweezers are measured and characterized in terms of their predicted eigenmodes. The characteristic eigenmodes of the networks are distinguishable within 20-40 seconds of acquisition time. Three different multi-particle networks are considered; an eight-particle linear chain, a nine-particle square grid and, finally, an eight-particle ring. The eigenmodes and their decay rates are shown to behave as predicted by the Oseen tensor and the Langevin equation, respectively. Finally, we demonstrate the potential of using our micro-ring as a non-invasive sensor to the local environmental viscosity, by showing the distortion of the eigenmode spectrum due to the proximity of a planar boundary.

The eight particle ring that may lend itself to a micro-listening device. Superimposed are the eigenvectors of one of the hydrodynamic modes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • imaging and optical processing
  • conventional optical microscopes
  • experimental tests
  • complex fluids and colloidal sytems
  • tweezers


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