This invention provides a new method for rapidly analyzing single bioparticles to assess their material condition and state of health. The method is enabled by use of a resonant cavity apparatus to measure an optical property related to the bioparticle size and refractive index. Measuring the refractive index is useful for determining material properties of the bioparticle. The material properties depend on the biomolecular composition of the bioparticle. The biomolecular composition is, in turn, dependent on the state of health of the bioparticle. Thus, measured optical properties can be used to differentiate normal (healthy) and abnormal (diseased) states of bioparticles derived from cells or tissues. The method is illustrated with data obtained from a resonator with a gain medium. The invention also provides new methods for making multiple measurements in a single device and detecting, analyzing, and manipulating bioparticles that are much smaller than the wavelength of light.