We demonstrate intracellular manipulation of synaptic vesicles in living neurons by optical trapping. When an infrared trapping laser is focused on synapses of a neuronal cell labeled with a fluorescent endocytic marker, fluorescence is observed at the focal spot. The fluorescence spectrum is attributed to fluorescent dye in the synaptic vesicles, indicating excitation by two-photon absorption of the trapping laser. The fluorescence intensity increases gradually within ∼100 s of laser irradiation, suggesting that trapping force causes vesicles assembly at the focus. Our method can be applied to manipulate synaptic transmission of a particular neuron in a neuronal network.
Optical trapping dynamics of colloidal particles in solution is essential for understanding laser-induced assembling of molecules and nanomaterials, which contributes to nanofabrication, bioengineering, and microfluidics. In this paper, the importance of the surrounding fluid motion in optical trapping is investigated; that is, we reveal convection fluid dynamics forced by optical trapping with a focused laser beam. The fluid flow in optical trapping is evaluated by both experiments using the particle-image-velocimetry of fluorescent particles in solutions and theoretical consideration based on numerical analysis. A theoretical model consists of Navier−Stokes equations with the Boussinesq approximation that considers the temperature elevation induced by a photothermal effect. Furthermore, the effect of the particle motion induced by the optical force on fluid flow is also included in the analysis by developing a simple one-way homogeneous-type multiphase flow model. From both experimental and theoretical results, it turns out that the fluid flow in optical trapping is caused not only by thermal convection due to the temperature elevation but also by the collective particle motion induced by optical forces. Therefore, the optical forces can induce the large-scale fluid convection, which supports accumulating the target particles to the focal spot.
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