Hydrosomes and Optical Tweezers: What can we do with the world’s smallest test tubes?

Joseph Reiner, Rani Kishore and Kristian Helmerson

Atomic Physics Division, NIST, Physics Laboratory, Gaithersburg, MD

Michael K. Gilson

CARB, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Hydrosomes are micron sized surfactant stabilized water droplets in a fluorocarbon background. Different chemicals can be mixed with the water droplets to form subpicoliter-sized containers. When two hydrosomes come into contact with each other they spontaneously fuse and form a single hydrosome. We have used a single focus laser trap, optical tweezers, to trap and manipulate individual hydrosomes. We plan to use hydrosomes for single molecule fluorescence studies where the molecules are free to move within the trapped hydrosome and for fluorescence activated molecular separation. Both proposals require the formation of one or several hydrosomes on demand. This poster will present progress on the development of this hydrosome formation technology along with a full description of the single molecule and molecular sorter proposals.


Name: Joseph Reiner
Division: Atomic Physics
Laboratory: Physics
Room and Building address: Room A161 / Building 221
Mail Stop: 8424
Telephone: 301-975-4358
FAX: 301-975-8272
email: jreiner@nist.gov
Sigma Xi member? No

Category: Physics