A novel instrument has been developed (μPIVOT) to manipulate and characterize the mechanical environment in and around microscale objects by integrating two laser-based techniques: micron-resolution particle image velocimetry (μPIV) and optical tweezers (OT). While the μPIVOT enables a new realm of microscale studies, it still maintains the individual capabilities of each optical technique. Ongoing investigations will provide a unique perspective towards understanding microscale phenomena including cell biomechanics, non-Newtonian fluid flow, and single particle or particle-particle hydrodynamics.

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