Definition of optical tweezers in US English:

optical tweezers

plural noun

  • A device that uses light from a low-wattage laser to manipulate individual molecules within cells.

    Also called laser tweezers
    • ‘By combining optical tweezers with other laser beams, researchers can perform microsurgery on particles.’
    • ‘Focused light beams called optical tweezers excel at trapping and moving micron-sized objects, but nanometer-scale particles generally slip through their grasp.’
    • ‘After trapping the rod in their optical tweezers, they polarized the trapping light, so that its electric field pointed in a single direction.’
    • ‘We use optical tweezers to measure the forces required to stretch single DNA molecules.’
    • ‘While others have also used optical tweezers to study the deformation of cells, the forces they've been able to apply are far less than those needed to induce the deformation that cells would experience in the body.’