Abstract

During the last decades, microrheology attracted a significant attention thanks to the possibility of investigating the viscoelastic properties of complex systems (e.g. cells and soft materials) at micrometer scale. The inherent low-consumption of sample offered by microrheology makes it the ideal candidate to study the rheological properties of precious/limited materials. In active microrheology, optical or magnetic forces enable trapping and manipulation of micro-probes in the fluid under test. The probe’s response to external stimuli is used to derive the rheological properties of the surrounding medium. While this approach has been already reported in the scientific literature mainly using optical tweezers [1], in this document we propose a different system configuration based on a dual beam laser trap, previously exploited to realize a simple viscometer [2,3]. The here proposed device has all the features of a rheometer, also allowing to measure the elastic properties, and has the advantage of requiring a lower beam intensity while being able to apply larger forces with respect to standard optical tweezers. Additionally the system can be easily integrated in a glass substrate, requiring just an external connection to a CW-laser source and a low-magnification objective for sample observation.

© 2019 IEEE

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