Australia develops photonic tweezers for working with ultra-small objects

The device was developed at Macquarie University, Australia. It can be used to manipulate objects up to 50 nanometers in size, which is a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. This means that the tool will allow scientists to directly manipulate micro-objects such as viral particles.

This technology is based on the possibilities of light transmitted through a fiber optic cable, at the end of which there is a hole that resembles a bow tie.

Thanks to this configuration, the interference effect begins to act, which creates a force near the hole that can move the protein molecules without destroying them. Optical tweezers work very softly, as they have to deal with extremely fragile structures - living molecules, and in the long term - DNA molecules.