Biology Faculty Articles

Title

Optical torques guiding cell motility

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Publication Title

Optics Express

ISSN

1094-4087

Volume

17

Issue/No.

12

First Page

9724

Last Page

9732

Abstract

The main mechanism responsible for cell motility is the stochastic generation and breakup of actin filaments forming the cytoskeleton. However, the role of environmental factors in the migration and differentiation of cells is yet to be fully understood. Here we demonstrate that polarized optical fields can exert controllable torques on the actin network and therefore influence the treadmilling process responsible for cells motility. Through systematic experiments and stochastic modeling we demonstrate that actively guiding the dynamics of large groups of cells is possible in a noninvasive manner.