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Opt Lett. 2005 Jul 15;30(14):1800-2.

Raman sorting and identification of single living micro-organisms with optical tweezers.

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  • 1Department of Physics, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858-4353, USA. xieca@yahoo.com


We report on a novel technique for sorting and identification of single biological cells and food-borne bacteria based on laser tweezers and Raman spectroscopy (LTRS). With this technique, biological cells of different physiological states in a sample chamber were identified by their Raman spectral signatures and then they were selectively manipulated into a clean collection chamber with optical tweezers through a microchannel. As an example, we sorted the live and dead yeast cells into the collection chamber and validated this with a standard staining technique. We also demonstrated that bacteria existing in spoiled foods could be discriminated from a variety of food particles based on their characteristic Raman spectra and then isolated with laser manipulation. This label-free LTRS sorting technique may find broad applications in microbiology and rapid examination of food-borne diseases.

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