“Non-diffracting” beams do not spread as they propagate. This property is useful in many areas. Here, the theory, generation, properties, and applications of various “non-diffracting” beams, including the Bessel beam, Mathieu beam, and Airy beam is reviewed. Applications include imaging, micromanipulation, nonlinear optics, and optical transfection.
The biomedical sciences have benefited immensely from photonics technologies in the last 50 years. This includes the application of minute forces that enable the trapping and manipulation of cells and single molecules. In terms of the area of biophotonics, optical manipulation has made a seminal contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of single molecules and the microrheology of cells. Here we present a review of optical manipulation, emphasizing its impact on the areas of single-molecule studies and single-cell biology, and indicating some of the key experiments in the fields.
The plasma membrane of a eukaryotic cell is impermeable to most hydrophilic substances, yet the insertion of these materials into cells is an extremely important and universal requirement for the cell biologist. To address this need, many transfection techniques have been developed including viral, lipoplex, polyplex, capillary microinjection, gene gun and electroporation. The current discussion explores a procedure called optical injection, where a laser field transiently increases the membrane permeability to allow species to be internalized. If the internalized substance is a nucleic acid, such as DNA, RNA or small interfering RNA (siRNA), then the process is called optical transfection. This contactless, aseptic, single cell transfection method provides a key nanosurgical tool to the microscopist—the intracellular delivery of reagents and single nanoscopic objects. The experimental possibilities enabled by this technology are only beginning to be realized. A review of optical transfection is presented, along with a forecast of future applications of this rapidly developing and exciting technology.
Optical micromanipulation has engendered some major studies across all of the natural sciences at the mesoscopic scale. Though over thirty-five years old, the field is finding new applications and has lost none of its dynamic or innovative character: a trapped object presents a system that enables a calibrated minuscule force (piconewtons or less) to be exerted at will, enabling precision displacements right down to the angstrom level to be observed. The study of the motion of single biological molecular motors has been revolutionised and new studies in the physical sciences have been realised. From the chemistry and microfluidic viewpoint, optical forces may remotely actuate micro-components and perform micro-reactions. Overall, optical traps are becoming a key part of a wider “optical toolkit”. We present a tutorial review of this technique, its fundamental principles and a flavour of some of the recent advances made.
Raman spectroscopy is a valuable tool in various research fields. The technique yields structural information from all kind of samples often without the need for extensive sample preparation. Since the Raman signals are inherently weak and therefore do not allow one to investigate substances in low concentrations, one possible approach is surface-enhanced (resonance) Raman spectroscopy. Here, rough coin metal surfaces enhance the Raman signal by a factor of 104–1015, depending on the applied method. In this review we discuss recent developments in SERS spectroscopy and their impact on different research fields.
Keywords Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy - SERS substrates - Single-molecule detection - Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
Raman spectroscopy has been recognized to be a powerful tool to study cells and tissues because the method provides molecular information without external markers such as stains or radioactive labels. To overcome the disadvantage of low signal intensities from most biomolecules, enhancement effects are utilized. A non-linear variant of Raman spectroscopy called coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) belongs to the most promising techniques because it combines signal enhancement due to the coherent nature of the process with further advantages such as directional emission, narrow spectral bandwidth and no disturbing interference with autofluorescence. This review describes briefly the principles of the methods and summarizes applications to cells and tissues that are expected to gain significance in the future such as the combination with imaging approaches, microscopy, optical traps and fiber-optic probes.
Commercially available high-resolution three-dimensional optical imaging modalities—including
confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography—have fundamen-
tally impacted biomedicine. Unfortunately, such tools cannot penetrate biological tissue deeper than the optical transport mean free path 1 mm in the skin. Photoacoustic tomography, which combines strong optical contrast and high ultrasonic resolution in a single modality, has broken through
this fundamental depth limitation and achieved superdepth high-resolution optical imaging. In
parallel, radio frequency-or microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography is being actively developed to combine radio frequency or microwave contrast with ultrasonic resolution. In this Vision 20/ 20 article, the prospects of photoacoustic tomography are envisaged in the following aspects:
1 photoacoustic microscopy of optical absorption emerging as a mainstream technology, 2
melanoma detection using photoacoustic microscopy, 3 photoacoustic endoscopy, 4 simultaneous functional and molecular photoacoustic tomography, 5 photoacoustic tomography of gene
expression, 6 Doppler photoacoustic tomography for ﬂow measurement, 7 photoacoustic tomography of metabolic rate of oxygen, 8 photoacoustic mapping of sentinel lymph nodes, 9 multi-scale photoacoustic imaging in vivo with common signal origins, 10 simultaneous photoacoustic
and thermoacoustic tomography of the breast, 11 photoacoustic and thermoacoustic tomography
of the brain, and 12 low-background thermoacoustic molecular imaging.
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is probably the fastest-growing area of biomedical imaging technology, owing to its capacity for high-resolution sensing of rich optical contrast in vivo at depths beyond the optical transport mean free path (~1 mm in human skin). Existing high-resolution optical imaging technologies, such as confocal microscopy and two-photon microscopy, have had
a fundamental impact on biomedicine but cannot reach the penetration depths of PAT. By utilizing low ultrasonic scattering, PAT indirectly improves tissue transparency up to 1000-fold and consequently enables deeply penetrating functional and molecular imaging at high spatial resolution. Furthermore, PAT promises in vivo imaging at multiple length-scales; it can image subcellular organelles to organs with the same contrast origin — an important application in multiscale systems biology research.
This review describes the diffusion model for light transport in tissues and the medical applications of diffuse light. Diffuse optics is particularly useful for measurement of tissue hemodynamics, wherein quantitative assessment of oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations and blood flow are desired. The theoretical basis for near-infrared or diffuse optical spectroscopy is developed, and the basic elements of iffuse optical tomography are outlined. We also discuss diffuse correlation spectroscopy, a technique whereby temporal correlation functions of diffusing light are transported through tissue and are used to measure blood flow. Essential instrumentation is described, and representative brain and breast functional imaging and monitoring results illustrate the workings of these new tissue di!