Methods of controllable, noncontact rotation of optically trapped microscopic objects have garnered significant attention for tomographic imaging and microfluidic actuation. Here, we report development of a fiber-optic spanner and demonstrate controlled rotation of smooth muscle cells. The rotation is realized by introducing a transverse offset between two counterpropagating beams emanating from single-mode optical fibers. The rotation speed and surrounding microfluidic flow could be controlled by varying balanced laser beam powers. Further, we demonstrate simultaneous translation and rotation of the fiber-optically trapped cell by varying the laser power of one fiber-optic arm.
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