Line optical tweezers: A tool to induce transformations in stained liposomes and to estimate shear modulus

E. Spyratou, E. A. Mourelatou, A. Georgopoulos, C. Demetzos, M. Makropoulou, A. A. Serafetinides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Liposomes have been actively studied as models of cell membranes and are currently used as drug delivery systems of bioactive molecules. Liposome transformations that mimic cellular processes and are associated with their physicochemical properties have become field of interest the last decade. However, there has been little experimental work on controlled vesicle transformations by non-contact, optical handling methods. In this paper we present the use of line optical tweezers to observe liposome state transitions and transformations. Dynamic shape deformations were induced by line optical tweezers in giant stained liposomes leading to budding transition, fission and pearling creation. Under the controlled effect of line optical tweezers reversible liposome deformations were observed. The shear modulus μ of the membrane was inferred by measuring deformation of stained liposomes induced by the applied optical force. Further laser radiation caused irreversible shape deformations of liposomes, which were transformed from spherical to tubular vesicles. The ability of the selective manipulation of liposomes brings us closer to study their physicochemical properties which play a key role in cellular-liposome interactions, drug encapsulation and delivery efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2009


  • Fission
  • Line optical tweezers
  • Shear modulus
  • Stained liposomes


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