Research 9

Smart Nanoprobe for Cell Studies


In this project we develop cylindrical iron or iron oxide tubes on a nanoscale level, using the latest nano fabrication technology available in our research facilities. Besides being biocompatible, those materials are magnetic, which enables vibrating the needle by an external magnetic field. Eventually the needle will feature:

·            A controlled and fast penetration of cell membranes through vibration.

·            The ability to apply or measure the potential between the inside and outside of a cell.

·            The ability to measure mechanical properties of cell by detecting the needles deflection with a magnetic micro sensor underneath the needle.

·            The ability to inject or extract liquids to or from cells with a high control over the location.

·            Different coatings to deliver drugs, proteins, etc. or to illuminate.

The developed smart nanoprobe will be used for various studies. For example, the efficiency of intracellular delivery of various co-cultured, membrane-impermeable molecules will be characterized through fluorescence microscopy. The regulation of stem cell differentiation will be studied using the same nanoprobe as a stimulus with magnetic fields of varying intensities. The long term goal is to provide the nanoprobe as a viable tool to the microbiological research community.