Optical manipulation: Tweezer app for iPad,

Issued: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 13:22:00 GMT

"Scientists in the UK have developed an application ('app') for Apple's iPad that allows the user to create and simultaneously control the three-dimensional positions of up to 11 independent optical traps by touch (J. Opt. 13, 044002; 2011). The aptly named 'iTweezers' is the innovation of Richard Bowman and colleagues from the physics departments of the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol. Bowman told Nature Photonics that they soon hope to make the app available to download for free from the iTunes App Store. In the meantime, a copy can be requested directly from the authors (r.bowman@physics.gla.ac.uk). The app is designed to work with holographic optical tweezers that use a computer-controlled spatial light modulator to create and control multiple optical traps.

The app uses the iPad's screen to display the real-time video from the microscope of an optical tweezer and indicates the trap positions using circular markers. Manipulating the positions of the traps and their trapped particles is simple: a finger drag gesture moves a trapped particle in the x–y plane, whereas a pinch gesture outwards or inwards moves it up or down along the z axis. Traps can be created or removed by double-tapping the screen."

Read the full article at nature.com