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Chemphyschem. 2004 Aug 20;5(8):1159-70.

Identification of biotic and abiotic particles by using a combination of optical tweezers and in situ Raman spectroscopy.

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  • 1Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


A highly versatile setup, which introduces an optical gradient trap into a Raman spectrometer, is presented. The particular configuration, which consists of two lasers, makes trapping independent from the Raman excitation laser and allows a separate adjustment of the trapping and excitation wavelengths. Thus, the excitation wavelength can be chosen according to the needs of the application. We describe the successful application of an optical gradient trap on transparent as well as on reflective, metal-coated microparticles. Raman spectra were recorded from optically trapped polystyrene beads and from single biological cells (e.g., erythrocytes, yeast cells). Also, metal-coated microparticles were trapped and used as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates for tests on yeast cells. Furthermore, the optical gradient trap was combined with a SERS fiber probe. Raman spectra were recorded from trapped red blood cells using the SERS fiber probe for excitation.

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