Scientific Publications related with optical tweezers

A wide optical tweezers review from different points of view.

Scientific Publications from IMPETUX’s customers:

A wide optical tweezers review for different applications with the latest publications with impressive examples and results obtained with our systems:

March 2021

The force loading rate drives cell mechanosensing through both reinforcement and fluidization

Ion Andreu, Bryan Falcones, Sebastian Hurst, Nimesh Chahare, Xarxa Quiroga, Anabel-Lise Le Roux, Zanetta Kechagia, Amy E.M. Beedle, Alberto Elósegui-Artola, Xavier Trepat, Ramon Farré, Timo Betz, Isaac Almendros, Pere Roca-Cusachs

Prepint at : doi:

This work provides a unifying mechanism to understand how cells respond not only to directly applied forces, but also to passive mechanical stimuli such as tissue rigidity or ECM ligand distribution.

To deep into the details of this interesting work have a look at the article here.


March 2021

Stochastic force dynamics of the model microswimmer Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: Active forces and energetics

Corbyn Jones, Mauricio Gomez, Ryan M. Muoio, Alex Vidal, Anthony Mcknight, Nicholas D. Brubaker, Wylie W. Ahmed.

Phys. Rev. E 103, 032403 – Published 5 March 2021.

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.103.032403

In this work, the authors use a customized optical trapping system from IMPETUX to study the stochastic force dynamics of a model microswimmer algaes (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii).  In particular, they directly measure the stochastic forces generated by the algaes using an optical trap via the photon momentum method.


January 2021

Intracellular softening and fluidification reveals a mechanical switch of cytoskeletal material contributions during division

Sebastian Hurst, Bart E. Vos, Timo Betz

BioRxiv 2021.01.07.425761;


This article is a preprint

In this work, the authors use optical tweezers to show intracellular softening, fluidification and decrease of active forces in mitosis that is mediated by a surprising role switch between microtubules and actin.

Impetux's force sensor is used to measure the cytoplasm's fluidity and stiffness changes of dividing cells.

It is the first time that the cell mechanics is characterized during mitosis from the inside


January 2021

Mechanical Stretch Inhibition Sensitizes Proprioceptors to Compressive Stresses

Ravi Das, Li-Chun Lin, Frederic Català-Castro, Nawaphat Malaiwong, Neus Sanfeliu,  Montserrat Porta-de-la-Riva, Aleksandra Pidde, Michael Krieg.

BioRxiv 2020.12.30.422571; doi:

This article is a preprint.

In this work, researchers used our SENSOCELL Optical Tweezers platform in combination with Confocal microscopy to study neuron Ca2+ dynamics during axon membrane tether extrusion experiments.


October 2020

The nucleus measures shape deformation for cellular proprioception and regulates adaptive morphodynamics

V. Venturi, F. Pezzano, F. Català-Castro, H.- M. Häkkinen, S. Jiménez-Delgado, M. Colomer-Rosell, M. Marro-Sánchez, Q. Tolosa-Ramon, S. Paz-López, M. A. Valverde, P. Loza-Alvarez, M. Krieg, S. Wieser and V. Ruprecht

SCIENCE | 16 Oct 2020: Vol. 370, Issue 6514, eaba2644. DOI: 10.1126/science.aba2644

For additional information, have a look at:

Our Customer Story.
CRG’s web page
ICFO’S web page


December 2020

In-vitro study of monocytic THP-1 leukemia cell membrane elasticity with a single-cell microfluidic-assisted optical trapping system

R. Ombid, G. Oyong, E. Cabrera, W. Espulgar, M. Saito, E. Tamiya, and R. Pobre

Biomed. Opt. Express 11, 6027-6037 (2020).

In this study, the authors used a customized optical trapping system from IMPETUX to characterize cell membrane elasticity as a new potential biomarker for leukemia cells, comparing measurements for cells treated with anti-cancer drugs and untreated cells.


May 2018

Optical Force Sensing with Cylindrical Microcontainers

R. Meissner, N. Oliver and C.Denz

Part. Part. Syst. Charact. 2018, 1800062.


Fabruary 2017

Extending calibration-free force measurements to optically-trapped rod-shaped samples

Frederic Català, Ferran Marsà, Mario Montes-Usategui, Arnau Farré and Estela Martín-Badosa 

Sci. Rep. 7, 42960; doi: 10.1038/srep42960 (2017).


July 2016

Optical tweezers for force measurements and rheological studies on biological samples

R. Bola, F. Català. M. Montes-Usategui, E. Martín-Badosa.

15th workshop on Information Optics (WIO), 2016.


Application Notes from the IMPETUX’s team of scientists

Here you will find the latest application notes released:

Micro-rheology of soft biological samples using optical tweezers

Measurement of the stall force of kinesins in living cells

Scientific Publications about IMPETUX’s technology:

In this last section you will find a compilation of the different publications where the core technology of our systems is described and analysed:

January 2021

OpticaDirect measurement of individual optical forces in ensembles of trapped particles

Franziska Strasser, Simon Moser, Monika Ritsch-Marte, and Gregor Thalhammer

 Optica, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 79-87, (2021),

In this work the authors have developed a technique that allows to combine the "momentum method" for measuring forces with multiple holographic  optical traps.


May 2020

Optics Letters

Acousto-holographic optical tweezers

R. Bola, D. Treptow, A. Marzoa, M. Montes-Usategui, and E. Martín-Badosa

Optics Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 10, pp. 2938-2941, (2020),


August 2016

Load-induced enhancement of Dynein force production by LIS1-NudE in vivo and in vitro

Babu J. N. Reddy, Michelle Mattson, Caitlin L. Wynne, Omid Vadpey, Abdo Durra, Dail Chapman, Richard B. Vallee & Steven P. Gross

          Nat Commun 7, 12259 (2016).


October 2015

Go to Volume 15, Issue 10Enzyme-Powered Hollow Mesoporous Janus Nanomotors

Xing Ma, Anita Jannasch, Urban-Raphael Albrecht, Kersten Hahn, Albert Miguel-López, Erik Schäffer, and Samuel Sánchez

Nano Lett. 2015, 15, 10, 7043–7050 . Publication Date:October 5, 2015.

"Using optical tweezers, we directly measured a holding force of 64 ± 16 fN, which was necessary to counteract the effective self-propulsion force generated by a single nanomotor. The successful demonstration of biocompatible enzyme-powered active nanomotors using biologically benign fuels has a great potential for future biomedical applications."


September 2015

Go to Volume 2, Issue 10Enhanced Optical Manipulation of Cells Using Antireflection Coated Microparticles

Derek Craig, Alison McDonald, Michael Mazilu, Helen Rendall, Frank Gunn-Moore, and Kishan Dholakia

ACS Photonics 2015, 2, 10, 1403–1409. Publication Date:September 11, 2015

In molecular studies, an optically trapped bead may be functionalized to attach to a specific molecule, whereas in cell studies, direct manipulation with the optical field is usually employed. Using this approach, several methods may be used to measure forces with an optical trap. However, each has its limitations and requires an accurate knowledge of the sample parameters.6,7 In particular, force measurements can be challenging when working with nonspherical particles or in environments with an inhomogeneous viscosity, such as inside the cell. Recent developments in the field are moving toward obtaining direct force measurements by detecting light momentum changes. For this approach, the calibration factor only comes from the detection instrumentation and negates the requirement to recalibrate for changes in experimental conditions”.


August 2015

Enhanced optical trapping via structured scattering

Michael A. Taylor, Muhammad Waleed, Alexander B. Stilgoe, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop and Warwick P. Bowen

Nature Photon 9, 669–673 (2015).


March 2015

Optics ExpressDirect measurement of axial optical forces

Gregor Thalhammer, Lisa Obmascher, and Monika Ritsch-Marte

Optics Express, Vol. 23, Issue 5, pp. 6112-6129, (2015),

September 2014

Calibration of Optical Tweezers for In Vivo Force Measurements: How do Different Approaches Compare?

Y. Jun, S.K. Tripathy, B.R.J. Narayanareddy, M. K. Mattson-Hoss, S.P. Gross

Biophysical Journal, Volume 107, Issue 6, P1474-1484, September 16, 2014, DOI:

Here, the authors present a comparison between two different methods for measuring forces inside living cells and provide measurements of the stall force of kinesin in vivo using the momentum-based approach. 

September 2014

The measurement of light momentum shines the path towards the cell

A. Farré, E. Martín-Badosa and M. Montes-Usategui.

Optica Pura y Aplicada 47(3):239-248, September 2014 DOI: 10.7149/OPA.47.3.239

September 2014

A force measurement instrument for optical tweezers based on the detection of light momentum changes

A. Farré, F. Marsà, and M. Montes-Usategui.

Proceedings Volume 9164, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI; 916412 (2014)
Event: SPIE NanoScience + Engineering, 2014, San Diego, California, United States

September 2014

Force measurements with optical tweezers inside living cells

J. Mas, A. Farré, J. Sancho-Parramon, E. Martín-Badosa, and M. Montes-Usategui

Proceedings Volume 9164, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI; 91640U (2014)
Event: SPIE NanoScience + Engineering, 2014, San Diego, California, United States

September 2014

Momentum measurements with holographic optical tweezers for exploring force detection capabilities on irregular samples

F. Català, F. Marsà, A. Farré, M. Montes-Usategui, and E. Martín-Badosa

Proceedings Volume 9164, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI; 91640A (2014)
Event: SPIE NanoScience + Engineering, 2014, San Diego, California, United States

May 2012

Optimized back-focal-plane interferometry directly measures forces of optically trapped particles

A. Farré, F. Marsà, and M. Montes-Usategui

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 11, pp. 12270-12291, (2012),

This manuscript shows the relation between the determination of momentum measurements and back-focal-plane interferometry, and details how to obtain the force response of the sensor both from first principles and from its connection with trap stiffness calibration.

May 2010

A force detection technique for single-beam optical traps based on direct measurement of light momentum changes

A. Farré and M. Montes-Usategui.

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 11, pp. 11955-11968, (2010),

 In this work, the authors show the feasibility of combining optical tweezers (single-beam gradient traps) with the determination of forces using the measurement of the light momentum change.