Faculty of Engineering

Image of Amanda Wright

Amanda Wright

Professor, Faculty of Engineering



Amanda Wright graduated from the University of Manchester in 2000 with a 2:1 (Hons) MPhys in Physics, from here she joined the Laser Photonics Group also at the University of Manchester and studied for her PhD in Optical Trapping. In 2004 she was award her PhD on the measuring and characterising optical trapping forces.

Amanda took up Research Associate post at the University of Strathclyde in 2004, joining the Institute of Photonics and the Applications Team. She initially worked on a Basic Technology project looking at multiphoton imaging deep into tissue samples in collaboration with the Grays Cancer Institute and Oxford University and then an EPSRC funded project on the Abraham and Minkowski dilemma relating to the momentum of a photon inside a dielectric material in collaboration with Glasgow University. In 2006 she was promoted to Associate Team Leader of the Applications Team.

Whilst at the Institute of Photonics Amanda was awarded a 5-year Royal Academy of Engineering / EPSRC personal research fellowship titled 'New Horizons in Adaptive Optics for Life Science Research: Adaptive Microscopy' aimed at improving image quality and resolution in optical sectioning microscopes using a technique known as adaptive optics.

In December 2012 Amanda transferred her fellowship to the University of Nottingham and became a member of IBIOS (Institute for Biophysics, Imaging and Optical Science). Here she aims to use her knowledge of Optics and specifically Optical Trapping and Adaptive Optics to engage in collaborative projects working closely with colleagues in the School of Life Sciences.

Amanda is a member of the Optics and Photonics research group.

Expertise Summary

Amanda's main areas of expertise are in Optical Trapping and Adaptive Optics.

Optical trapping involves using a laser beam and a high numerical aperture microscope objective lens to trap, manipulate and control micron sized objects in three dimensions. It has been around since the early 1980s and has found application across the Science and Engineering disciplines. Amanda's particular interest is in Life Science applications of Optical Trapping and she has worked on a number of projects from studying the micro-rheology of the vitreous humor to aid the development of more effective drug delivery systems to measuring the interaction forces between individual cells of the immune system.

Adaptive Optics was original developed for Optical Astronomy to overcome the aberrations caused by the earth's atmosphere and to improve the quality of images. Amanda specializes in transferring this technology to non-linear microscopy systems where image resolution and quality are known to greatly deteriorate with imaging depth. So far Amanda has successfully installed Adaptive Optics systems in confocal, multiphoton, CARS and second harmonic microscopes and more recently combined her knowledge of Adaptive Optics and Optical Trapping to create a system with a constant trapping force deep into a sample.

This work has been supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, EPSRC, EU, Royal Society and Allergan.

Recent Publications

  • M. MOSSAYEBI, A. PARINI, A J WRIGHT, M G SOMEKH, G BELLANCA and E. LARKINS, 2019. Hybrid photonic-plasmonic platform for high throughput single-molecule studies Optical Materials Express.
  • WRIGHT, A. J., RICHENS, J. L., BRAMBLE, J. P., CATHCART, N., KITAEV, V., O'SHEA, P. and HUDSON, A., 2017. Optical trapping and enhanced Raman spectroscopy of liposome encapsulated silver decahedral nanoparticles
  • WRIGHT, A. J. and POLAND, S. P., 2017. Adaptive optics for aberration correction in optical microscopy. In: Handbook of Photonics for Biomedical Engineering Springer Netherlands. 585-612
  • GLASS, D. G., MCALINDEN, N., MILLINGTON, O. R. and WRIGHT, A. J., 2017. A minimally invasive optical trapping system to understand cellular interactions at onset of an immune response: PLoS ONE PLoS ONE. 12(12),
  • MOSSAYEBI, M., WRIGHT, A. J., PARINI, A., SOMEKH, M. G., BELLANCA, G. and LARKINS, E. C., 2016. Investigating the use of a hybrid plasmonic–photonic nanoresonator for optical trapping using finite-difference time-domain method: Optical and Quantum Electronics Optical and Quantum Electronics. 48(5),
  • WRIGHT, A. J., RICHENS, J. L., BRAMBLE, J. P., CATHCART, N., KITAEV, V., O'SHEA, P. and HUDSON, A. J., 2016. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering measurement from a lipid bilayer encapsulating a single decahedral nanoparticle mediated by an optical trap: Nanoscale Nanoscale. 8(36), 16395-16404
  • FIONA WATTS, LAY EAN TAN, CLIVE G WILSON, JOHN M GIRKIN, MANLIO TASSIERI and AMANDA J WRIGHT, 2014. Investigating the microrheology of the vitreous humor using an optically trapped local probe Journal of Optics. 16, 015301
  • M C MULLENBRIOCH, E J MCGHEE, A J WRIGHT and K I ANDERSON, 2014. Strategies to overcome photobleaching in algorithm based adaptive optics for nonlinear in-vivo imaging Journal of Biomedical Optics. 19(1), 016021
  • N MCALINDEN, D G GLASS, O R MILLINGTON and A J WRIGHT, 2014. Accurate position tracking of optically trapped live cells Biomedical Optics Express. 5(4), 1026-1037
  • MULLENBROICH M C, MCALINDEN N and WRIGHT A J, 2013. Adaptive optics in an optical trapping system for enhanced lateral trap stiffness at depth Journal of Optics. 15, 075305
  • MCALINDEN N, GLASS D G, MILLINGTON O R and WRIGHT A J, 2013. Designing an experiment to measure cellular interaction forces In: SPIE Photonics and Optics. 8810. 8810-56
  • MULLENBROICH M C, MCGHEE E J, WRIGHT A J, ANDERSON K I and MATHIESON K, 2013. Adaptive nonlinear microscopy for whole tissue imaging In: Proc. SPIE Photonics West.
  • E. CHAIGNEAU, A. J. WRIGHT, S. P. POLAND, J. M. GIRKIN and R. A. SILVER, 2011. Impact of wavefront distortion and scattering on 2-photon microscopy in mammalian brain tissue Optics Express. 19(23), 22755
  • S. P. POLAND, A. J. WRIGHT, S. COBB, J. C. VIJVERBERG and J. M. GIRKIN, 2011. A demonstration of the effectiveness of a single aberration correction per optical slice in beam scanned optically sectioning microscopes Micron. 42(4), 318-323
  • MCALINDEN N, GLASS D G, MILLINGTON O R and WRIGHT A J, 2011. Viability studies of optically trapped T-cells In: Proc. of SPIE. 8097. 80970J
  • WRIGHT A J, BENSON R A, BOWMAN R W, GIBSON G M, PADGETT M J, GIRKIN J M, BREWER J and GARSIDE P, 2011. Investigating the interaction forces between immune cells and antigen-presenting cells using an optical trapping system In: Proc. of SPIE. 8097. 809701
  • R. BOWMAN, A. J. WRIGHT and M. J. PADGETT, 2010. Holographic Shcak-Hartmann sensors to correct SLM-based systems Journal of Optics A. 12, 124004
  • W. K. KEK, G. MCCONNELL, A. J. WRIGHT, J.M. GIRKIN and C. G. WILSON, 2010. Two-photon fluorescence microscopy to assess trans-scleral diffusion pathways in an isolated perfused bovine eye model Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS). 51,
  • W. LUBEIGT, S. POLAND, G. J. VALENTINE, A. J. WRIGHT, J. M. GIRKIN and D. BURNS, 2010. Search-based active optic systems for aberration correction in time-dependent applications Applied Optics. 49(3),
  • J. G. MCCARRON, M. L. OLSON, S. CURRIE, A. J. WRIGHT, K. I. ANDERSON and J. M. GIRKIN, 2009. Elevations of intracellular calcium reflect normal voltage-dependent behavior, and not constitutive activity, of voltage-dependent calcium channels in gastrointestinal and vascular smooth muscle The Journal of General Physiology. 133(4), 439-457
  • J. M. GIRKIN, S. P. POLAND and A. J. WRIGHT, 2009. Adaptive Optics for Deeper Imaging of Biological Samples Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 20(1), 106–110
  • G. M. GIBSON, J. LEACH, S. KEEN, A. J. WRIGHT and M. J. PADGETT, 2008. Measuring the accuracy of particle position and force in optical tweezers using high-speed video microscopy Optics Express. 16(19), 14561
  • A. J. WRIGHT, J. M. GIRKIN, G. M. GIBSON, J. LEACH and M. J. PADGETT, 2008. Transfer of orbital angular momentum from a super-continuum, white-light beam Optics Express. 16(13), 9495
  • U ELEJALDE, A J WRIGHT and J M GIRKIN, 2008. Intracavity absorption spectrometry; A new technique for process analysis? Chemistry today. 26(1),
  • LEACH, J., WRIGHT, A.J., GÖTTE, J.B., GIRKIN, J.M., ALLEN, L., FRANKE-ARNOLD, S., BARNETT, S.M. and PADGETT, M.J., 2008. “Aether drag” and moving images Physical Review Letters. 100(15), 153902
  • S P POLAND, A J WRIGHT and J M GIRKIN, 2008. Active focus-locking in an optically sectioning microscope utilizing a deformable membrane mirror Optics Letters. 33(5),
  • S. P. POLAND, A. J. WRIGHT and J. M. GIRKIN, 2008. Evaluation of fitness parameters used in an iterative approach to aberration correction in optical sectioning microscopy Applied Optics. 47(6), 731-736
  • GIRKIN J M, POLAND S P, WRIGHT A J, FREUDIGER C, EVANS C L and XIE X S, 2008. Adaptive optics applied to coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy In: Proc. of SPIE. 6860. 6860-29
  • A. J. WRIGHT, S. P. POLAND, J. M. GIRKIN, C. W. FREUDIGER, C. L. EVANS and X. S. XIE, 2007. Adaptive optics for enhanced signal in CARS microscopy Optics Express. 15(26), 18209-18219
  • R DI LEONARDO, G RUOCCO, J LEACH, M J PADGETT, A J WRIGHT, J M GIRKIN, D R BURNHAM and D MCGLOIN, 2007. Parametric resonance of optically trapped aerosols Physics Review Letters. 99, 010601-1 – 01-601-4
  • S FRANKE-ARNOLD, J LEACH, M J PADGETT, V LEMBESSIS, A ARNOLD, A J WRIGHT and J M GIRKIN, 2007. Optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms Optics Express. 15(14), 8619-8625
  • DI LEONARDO, R., RUOCCO, G., LEACH, J., PADGETT, M. J., WRIGHT, A. J., GIRKIN, J. M., BURNHAM, D. R. and MCGLOIN, D., 2007. Parametric excitation of optically trapped aerosols In: Proc. of SPIE. 6644. J6441-J6441
  • VIJVERBERG J, ORAZIO M, POLAND S, WRIGHT A J and GIRKIN J M, 2007. Adaptive optics in confocal and two-photon microscopy of rat brain: a single correction per optical section In: Proc. of SPIE. PW07B-BO125. PW07B-BO125-2
  • J LEACH, G M GIBSON, M J PADGETT, E ESPOSITO, G MCCONNELL, A J WRIGHT and J M GIRKIN, 2006. Generation of achromatic Bessel beams using a compensated spatial light modulator Optics Express. 14(12), 5581-5587
  • M J PADGETT, G WHYTE, J M GIRKIN, A J WRIGHT, L ALLEN, P ÖHBERG and S M BARNETT, 2006. Polarisation and image rotation induced by a rotating dielectric bar: a treatment in terms of optical angular momentum Optics Letters. 31(14), 2205-2207
  • A J WRIGHT, S P POLAND, B A PATTERSON, J M GIRKIN, G GIBSON and M J PADGETT, 2006. Dynamic closed-loop system for focus tracking using a spatial light modulator and a deformable membrane mirror Optics Express. 14(1), 222-228
  • WRIGHT A J, GIBSON G M, POLAND S P, ANDERSON B A, GIBSON G, PADGETT M J and GIRKIN J M, 2006. Active locking of adaptive optics for improved microscopy In: Proc. of SPIE.
  • A J WRIGHT, D BURNS, B A PATTERSON, S POLAND, G J VALENTINE and J M GIRKIN, 2005. Exploration of the optimisation algorithms used in the implementation of Adaptive Optics in confocal and multiphoton microscopy Microscopy Research and Techniques. 67(1), 36-44
  • P JORDAN, J LEACH, M J PADGETT, P BLACKBURN, N ISAACS, M GOKSÖR, D HANSTORP, A J WRIGHT, J M GIRKIN and J COOPER, 2005. Creating permanent 3D arrangements of isolated cells using holographic optical tweezers Lab on a Chip. 5(11), 1224-1228
  • GIRKIN, J. M., WRIGHT, A. J., POLAND, S., PATTERSON, B., GIBSON, G. and PADGETT, M. J., 2005. Confocal and multiphoton microscopy for imaging at depth in living tissue - art. no. 60472P Fourth International Conference on Photonics and Imaging in Biology and Medicine, Pts 1 and 2. 6047, P472-P472
  • T A WOOD, H F GLEESON, M R DICKINSON and A J WRIGHT, 2004. Mechanisms of optical angular momentum transfer to nematic liquid crystalline droplets Applied Physics Letters. 84(21), 4292-4294
  • A J WRIGHT, T A WOOD, M R DICKINSON, H F GLEESON and T MULLIN, 2003. The transverse trapping force of an optical trap: factors effecting its measurement Journal of Modern Optics. 50(10), 1521-1532
  • WRIGHT A J, WOOD T A, DICKINSON M R, GLEESON H F, MULLIN T and MURRAY A, 2002. Investigation of the factors affecting the transverse force measurements of an otpical trap. Part I In: Proc. of SPIE. 4622. 4622-24
  • WOOD T A, WRIGHT A J, DICKINSON M R, GLEESON H F, MULLIN T and MURRAY A, 2002. Investigation of factors affecting the transverse force measurements of an optical trap. Part II In: Proc. of SPIE. 4634. 4634-12
  • J C ASHWORTH, J.L. THOMPSON, J.R. JAMES, C.E. SLATER, S. PIJUAN-GALITÓ, K. LIS-SLIMAK, R.J. HOLLEY, K.A. MEADE, A. THOMPSON, K.P. ARKILL, M. TASSIERI, A J WRIGHT and G. FARNIE, Peptide gels of fully-defined composition and mechanics for probing cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in vitro

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