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Description

Optical Tweezers (OT) are used for highly accurate manipulations of biological cells. However, the direct exposure of cells to focused laser beam may negatively influence their biological functions. In order to overcome this problem, we generate multiple optical traps to grab and move a 3D ensemble of inert particles such as silica microspheres to act as a reconfigurable gripper for a manipulated cell. The relative positions of the microspheres are important in order for the gripper to be robust against external environmental forces and the exposure of high intensity laser on the cell to be minimized. In this paper, we present results of different gripper configurations, experimentally tested using our OT setup, that provide robust gripping as well as minimize laser intensity experienced by the cell. We developed a computational approach that allowed us to perform preliminary modeling and synthesis of the gripper configurations. The gripper synthesis is cast as a multi-objective optimization problem.

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