Plasmonic tweezers for optical manipulation and biomedical applications
Plasmonic tweezers are an emerging research topic because of their breakthrough in the conventional diffraction limit and precise manipulation at the nanoscale. Notably, their compatibility with analytical techniques (e.g. fluorescence, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI MS)) opens up opportunities in optical manipulation and biomedical applications. Herein, we first introduce the structures and trapping forces, followed by a summary of the properties of plasmonic tweezers. The optical trapping of biosamples by plasmonic tweezers are then reviewed, including microorganisms and biomolecules. Finally, we highlight the integration of plasmonic tweezers with analytical techniques towards bioanalytical applications. We conclude with perspectives on the future directions for this topic. We foresee the upcoming era of biological detection by plasmonic tweezing in both academy and industry, which calls for the interest and efforts of scientists from diverse fields.