Cells (Feb 2020)

Optical Tweezers in Studies of Red Blood Cells

  • Ruixue Zhu,
  • Tatiana Avsievich,
  • Alexey Popov,
  • Igor Meglinski

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 3
p. 545


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Optical tweezers (OTs) are innovative instruments utilized for the manipulation of microscopic biological objects of interest. Rapid improvements in precision and degree of freedom of multichannel and multifunctional OTs have ushered in a new era of studies in basic physical and chemical properties of living tissues and unknown biomechanics in biological processes. Nowadays, OTs are used extensively for studying living cells and have initiated far-reaching influence in various fundamental studies in life sciences. There is also a high potential for using OTs in haemorheology, investigations of blood microcirculation and the mutual interplay of blood cells. In fact, in spite of their great promise in the application of OTs-based approaches for the study of blood, cell formation and maturation in erythropoiesis have not been fully explored. In this review, the background of OTs, their state-of-the-art applications in exploring single-cell level characteristics and bio-rheological properties of mature red blood cells (RBCs) as well as the OTs-assisted studies on erythropoiesis are summarized and presented. The advance developments and future perspectives of the OTs’ application in haemorheology both for fundamental and practical in-depth studies of RBCs formation, functional diagnostics and therapeutic needs are highlighted.