Quantitative measurement of damage caused by 1064-nm wavelength optical trapping of Escherichia coli cells using on-chip single cell cultivation system
We quantitatively examined the possible damage to the growth and cell division ability of Escherichia coli caused by 1064-nm optical trapping. Using the synchronous behavior of two sister E. coli cells, the growth and interdivision times between those two cells, one of which was trapped by optical tweezers, the other was not irradiated, were compared using an on-chip single cell cultivation system. Cell growth stopped during the optical trapping period, even with the smallest irradiated power on the trapped cells. Moreover, the damage to the cell’s growth and interdivision period was proportional to the total irradiated energy (work) on the cell, i.e., irradiation time multiplied by irradiation power. The division ability was more easily affected by a smaller energy, 0.36 J, which was 30% smaller than the energy that adversely affected growth, 0.54 J. The results indicate that the damage caused by optical trapping can be estimated from the total energy applied to cells, and furthermore, that the use of optical trapping for manipulating cells might cause damage to cell division and growth mechanisms, even at wavelengths under 1064 nm, if the total irradiation energy is excessive.