Navigation Links
Penn engineers create carbon nanopipettes that are smaller than cells and measure electric current
Date:1/15/2008

PHILADELPHIA - University of Pennsylvania engineers and physicians have developed a carbon nanopipette thousands of times thinner than a human hair that measures electric current and delivers fluids into cells. Researchers developed this tiny carbon-based tool to probe cells with minimal intrusion and inject fluids without damaging or inhibiting cell growth.

Glass micropipettes are found in almost every cell laboratory in the world but are fragile at small scales, can cause irreparable cell damage and cannot be used as injectors and electrodes simultaneously. Haim Bau, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at Penn, and his team developed tiny carbon-based pipettes that can be mass-produced to eliminate the problems associated with glass micropipettes. Although they range in size from a few tens to a few hundred nanometers, they are far stronger and more flexible than traditional glass micropipettes. If the tip of a carbon nanopipette, or CNP, is pressed against a surface, the carbon tip bends and flexes, then recovers its initial shape. They are rigid enough to penetrate muscle cells, carcinoma cells and neurons.

Researchers believe the pipettes will be useful for concurrently measuring electrical signals of cells during fluid injection. In addition, the pipettes are transparent to X rays and electrons, making them useful when imaging even at the molecular level. Adding a functionalized protein to the pipette creates a nanoscale biosensor that can detect the presence of proteins.

Penns Micro-Nano Fluidics Laboratory now mass-produces these pipettes and uses them to inject reagents into cells without damaging the cells, Bau said. "We are ultimately interested in developing nanosurgery tools to monitor cellular processes and control or alter cellular functions. We feel CNPs will help scientists gain a better understanding of how a cell functions and help develop new drugs and therapeutics."

Just as important as the mechanical properties of carbon nanopipettes, however, is the ease of fabrication, said Michael Schrlau, a doctoral candidate and first author of the study, Carbon Nanopipettes for Cell Probes and Intracellular Injection, published in the most recent issue of Nanotechnology. After depositing a carbon film inside quartz micropipettes, we wet-etch away the quartz tip to expose a carbon nanopipe. We can simultaneously produce hundreds of these integrated nanoscale devices without any complex assembly, he said.

The next challenge for researchers is fully utilizing the new tools in nanosurgery.

"We will need to go beyond the proof-of-concept, development stage into the utilization stage," Schrlau said. "This includes finding the appropriate collaborations across engineering, life science and medical disciplines."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. President honors mentors of scientists and engineers
2. Nanoengineers mine tiny diamonds for drug delivery
3. Engineers study brain folding in higher mammals
4. Institution of Chemical Engineers chooses Elsevier as publishing partner
5. CU researcher engineers sorghum that grows in poisonous soils
6. Boston University biomedical engineers find chink in bacterias armor
7. UCR engineers to develop new tool to measure how environmental exposures affect health
8. Princeton engineers develop low-cost recipe for patterning microchips
9. Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
10. New techniques create butanol
11. Researchers create mathematical model of fruit fly eyes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Penn engineers create carbon nanopipettes that are smaller than cells and measure electric current
(Date:2/21/2017)... -- Der weltweite Biobanking-Sektor wird bis zum ... mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus verschiedenen Branchen wurde aber ... diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... Zu den Schwierigkeiten für ... für die Biobank, die Implementierung Zeit sparender Technologien, ein ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and Special Counsel to ... of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today releases the following ... Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the ... Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains more notoriety and ... ban, it is important that our national discourse regain ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of ... quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. ... compared to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. ... million compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of ... $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017 Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ... "Company"), a clinical-stage oncology and dermatology biopharmaceutical company, ... to participate in its previously announced rights offering ... shares of common stock and Series C Convertible ... listed warrants. As previously announced, ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Symic Bio, a biopharmaceutical company ... category of therapeutics, announced today the completion of enrollment ... artery disease. The trial will evaluate the safety and ... the reduction of restenosis following angioplasty. ... for SB-030," said Nathan Bachtell , M.D., Chief ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Blood Corporation (NYSE: CO ) ("CCBC" or ... laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem cell processing and stem cell ... the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal ... Quarter of Fiscal 2017 Highlights Revenues ... 18.6% to RMB200.9 million ($28.9 million). ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ("China Biologic" or the "Company"), ... announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal ... Highlights Total sales in the fourth ... increased by 13.6% in USD terms to $77.6 million from ... Gross profit increased by 13.3% to $46.8 million from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: