Heat in optical tweezers

B. Del Rosal, P. Haro-González, W. T. Ramsay, L. M. Maestro, K. Santacruz-Gómez, M. C. Iglesias-De La Cruz, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, J. Y. Chooi, P. Rodríguez-Sevilla, D. Choudhury, A. K. Kar, J. G. García-Solé, L. Patterson, D. Jaque*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)


Laser-induced thermal effects in optically trapped microspheres and single cells have been investigated by Luminescence Thermometry. Thermal spectroscopy has revealed a non-localized temperature distribution around the trap that extends over tens of microns, in agreement with previous theoretical models. Solvent absorption has been identified as the key parameter to determine laser-induced heating, which can be reduced by establishing a continuous fluid flow of the sample. Our experimental results of thermal loading at a variety of wavelengths reveal that an optimum trapping wavelength exists for biological applications close to 820 nm. This has been corroborated by a simultaneous analysis of the spectral dependence of cellular heating and damage in human lymphocytes during optical trapping. Minimum intracellular heating, well below the cytotoxic level (43 °C), has been demonstrated to occur for optical trapping with 820 nm laser radiation, thus avoiding cell damage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2013
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation X - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 25 Aug 201329 Aug 2013


ConferenceOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation X
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • fluorescence imaging
  • lymphocytes
  • microspheres
  • nanothermometry
  • Optical trapping
  • quantum dots


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