A technology that uses light to precisely manipulate micro-sized objects
has the potential to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of disease,
and deliver faster, cheaper internet connections.
Optical trapping technology has many applications, including the
very precise manipulation of individual cells, allowing for faster,
and more accurate diagnosis of diseases,"
Peter Domachuk, a postgraduate student in the School of Physics,
University of Sydney.
" On the smaller scale, it is possible to similarly
manipulate individual strands of DNA, again allowing the diagnosis
of genetic conditions
cheaply and rapidly using smaller samples,"
the winner of recent writing competition for an essay he wrote about
Although based at the University of Sydney, Domachuk is attached to
CUDOS, The Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems
- a five-university consortium funded by the ARC.
CUDOS's research promises to lead the creation of silicon chips with
mechanical elements that can be manipulated using 'optical traps'
for faster and cheaper diagnostics of cells and their surrounding
High-volume production of such chips could lead to medical advances,
such as rapid development of vaccines to emerging pathogens like bird
flu," Domachuck said.
The technology may also result in very compact optical devices for
networking, resulting in cheaper internet access with higher speeds,
with much less infrastructure than we use now.