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An optical method for formation and controllable manipulation of particle and cell patterns is proposed. With a laser beam at 980 nm wavelength launched into a tapered optical fiber, different sized particles and cells are formed into particle/cell chains and arrays with controllable numbers in a highly organized manner. The formed patterns can be flexibly manipulated in three dimensions.

(Picture: H. Xin, R. Xu, and B. Li10.1002/lpor.201300028, pp. 801-809, in this issue)