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Keywords:

  • cell mechanics;
  • optical tweezers;
  • radiation pressure;
  • Red Blood Cell (RBC)

Abstract

We calculated the three-dimensional optical stress distribution and the resulting deformation on a biconcave human red blood cell (RBC) in a pair of parallel optical trap. We assumed a Gaussian intensity distribution with a spherical wavefront for each trapping beam and calculated the optical stress from the momentum transfer associated with the reflection and refraction of the incident photons at each interface. The RBC was modelled as a biconcave thin elastic membrane with uniform elasticity and a uniform thickness of 0.25 μm. The resulting cell deformation was determined from the optical stress distribution by finite element software, Comsol Structure Mechanics Module, with Young's modulus (E) as a fitting parameter in order to fit the theoretical results for cell elongation to our experimental data. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)