Research & Teaching Faculty

Real-time identification of the singleness of a trapped bead in optical tweezers

TitleReal-time identification of the singleness of a trapped bead in optical tweezers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHu, C, Su, C, Yun, Z, Wang, S, He, C, Gao, X, Li, S, Li, H, Hu, X, Hu, X
Date PublishedFEB 10

Beads trapped in optical tweezers are aligned along the optical propagation direction, which makes it difficult to determine the number of beads with bright-field microscopy. This problem also dramatically influences the measurement of the optical trapping based single-molecule force spectroscopy. Here, we propose a video processing approach to count the number of trapped micro-objects in real time. The approach uses a normalized cross-correlation algorithm and image enhancement techniques to amplify a slight change of the image induced by the entry of an exotic object. As tested, this method introduces a similar to 10% change per bead to the image similarity, and up to four beads, one-by-one falling into the trap, are identified. Moreover, the feasibility of the above analysis in a moving trap is investigated. A movement of the trap leads to a fluctuation of less than 2% for the similarity signal and can be ignored in most cases. The experimental results prove that image similarity measurement is a sensitive way to monitor the interruption, which is very useful, especially during experiments. In addition, the approach is easy to apply to an existing optical tweezers system. (c) 2018 Optical Society of America