Fabrication of Multimode-Single Mode Polymer Fiber Tweezers for Single Cell Trapping and Identification with Improved Performance

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Joana Isabel Paiva
João Paulo Cunha
Pedro Jorge
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<jats:p>Optical fiber tweezers have been gaining prominence in several applications in Biology and Medicine. Due to their outstanding focusing abilities, they are able to trap and manipulate microparticles, including cells, needing any physical contact and with a low degree of invasiveness to the trapped cell. Recently, we proposed a fiber tweezer configuration based on a polymeric micro-lens on the top of a single mode fiber, obtained by a self-guided photopolymerization process. This configuration is able to both trap and identify the target through the analysis of short-term portions of the back-scattered signal. In this paper, we propose a variant of this fabrication method, capable of producing more robust fiber tips, which produce stronger trapping effects on targets by as much as two to ten fold. These novel lenses maintain the capability of distinguish the different classes of trapped particles based on the back-scattered signal. This novel fabrication method consists in the introduction of a multi mode fiber section on the tip of a single mode (SM) fiber. A detailed description of how relevant fabrication parameters such as the length of the multi mode section and the photopolymerization laser power can be tuned for different purposes (e.g., microparticles trapping only, simultaneous trapping and sensing) is also provided, based on both experimental and theoretical evidences.</jats:p>