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We design and demonstrate new types of optical tweezers with lateral pulling forces that allow full control of biological samples with complex geometric shapes. With appropriate beam shaping, the dual tug-of-war tweezers effectively hold and stretch elongated biological objects of different sizes, and the triangular tug-of-war tweezers with threefold rotational symmetry steadily hold asymmetric objects in the plane of observation and exert stretching forces along three directions. Wedoi:10.3788/col201715.030010 fatcat:nmipipz4o5evzhdps5zeaskm7a