Nano-biophotonics explored by Light Robotics

Jesper Glückstad, Mark Jayson Villangca, Darwin Palima, Andrew Rafael Banas

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The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry celebrated the invention of so‐called ‘optical nanoscopy’ a highly advanced nanoscale lightbased microscopy modality that can surpass the classical farfield diffraction limit and provide optical resolutions down to a few nanometers. Associated with this breakthrough is the rapidly emerging field of light‐based 3D printing based on powerful approaches offered by e.g. nonlinear photo-polymerizations. Currently, it is possible to 3D laserprint nanoscopic structures with voxel resolutions down to a few tens of nanometers. By adding a third key scientific accomplishment namely the fascinating ability of focused light to capture, trap and manipulate tiny objects one can approach a triangulation of new functionalities required for true light driven nanorobotics. By integrating all these amazing optics and photonics breakthroughs we can create the conditions for harnessing most of the functionalities required to develop the fascinating concept of true so-­‐called Light Robotics. We foresee that it will soon become possible to equip 3D laser-printed robotic micro-­‐structures with multi functional biophotonics nanoprobes or nanotips fabricated with true nanoscopic resolution. The uniqueness of such an approach is that even if a micro biologist aims at exploring e.g. cell biology at nanoscopic scales, the main support of each laser-­‐robotic structure can be 3D printed to have a size and shape that allows convenient laser manipulation in full 3D– even using relatively modest numerical aperture optics. An optical robot is typically equipped with a number of 3D printed "trackballs" that allow for real-­‐time 3D light manipulation with six-­‐degrees-­‐of-­‐freedom. This creates a drone-­‐like functionality where each light-­‐driven robot can be e.g. joystick-­‐controlled and provide the user a feeling of stretching his/her hands directly into and interacting with the biologic micro environment. The light-­‐guided robots can thus act as free-­‐floating probes to monitor micro-­‐biologic processes and provide spatially targeted mechanical, chemical or even optical stimuli that would otherwise be impossible to achieve in a full 3D biologic environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventNanoBioTech-Montreux - Montreux, Switzerland
Duration: 7 Nov 20169 Nov 2016




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