The development of an optical channel, a new analytical technique for evaluating the elasticity of biological cells, is described in this study. Two types of erythrocyte cells, i.e., young and old cells, were examined via their introduction into a flowing medium, to which a laser beam was focused in the opposite direction. An erythrocyte cell is trapped in a laser beam by a gradient force, moves in the downstream direction, and is then elongated at the beam waist. The change in shape was measured directly using a microscope equipped with a charge-coupled-device camera. It is probable the main driving force for the cell deformation is a shear stress generated by a medium flow, since an estimate of the gradient force suggests that it is too small to change the shape of an erythrocyte. The average values of the elongation of young and old cells were 2.4 ± 0.6 and 2.1 ± 0.5, respectively. These values are in reasonably good agreement with values obtained using a rheoscope method. The deformation was measured without any physical contact to the solid surface, and therefore, damage to cells such as these are minimal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry