Optical Tweezers Resource Library

Testing Syringe-Pumps by the NanoTracker Optical Tweezers System

Read about the characteristics of flows produced by several models of single- and dual-syringe pumps

Optical Tweezers; Optical Trapping; NanoTracker; Force Measurements; Syringe Pumps; Microfluidic Chamber; Laminar Flow; Life Science

A number of optical tweezers experiments require laminar flow of liquids in a microfluidic chamber for applications ranging from basic exchange of samples and buffer solutions to advanced experimental configurations and optical trap calibration techniques. There are several types of instruments which can create fluid flows in the sample chamber in very well controlled and adjustable ways such as the precise setting of the flow rates.

For optical tweezers experiments, utilization of one or several syringe-pumps is often the most suitable and inexpensive solution. In this app note we used Bruker’s NanoTracker 2 optical tweezers system to directly test several models of single- and dual-syringe pumps from World Precision Instruments (Sarasota, Florida). These included AL1000, AL4000, AAL4003.X, and SP260p, all of which can be used with NanoTracker accessories, such as LaminarFlowCell (LFC) and PetriDishHeater. We also provide several suggestions to be taken into consideration during preparation of optical tweezers experiments involving syringe pumps.

Readers can expect to learn about:

  • Instrumental equipment and experimental set-up to test the performance of a syringe pump with the NanoTracker optical tweezers system;
  • Performance of the AL 1000, AL 4000 AL 4000 X and SP260p syringe pumps from WPI in comparison and their range of applications for specific experimental conditions; and
  • The NanoTracker and specialized accessories such as the LamillarFlowCell as a powerful tool for laminar flow experiments.