Nanoneedle is Small in Size, But Huge in Applications

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-1073; kloeppel@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a membrane-penetrating nanoneedle for the targeted delivery of one or more molecules into the cytoplasm or the nucleus of living cells. In addition to ferrying tiny amounts of cargo, the nanoneedle can also be used as an electrochemical probe and as an optical biosensor.

“Nanoneedle-based delivery is a powerful new tool for studying biological processes and biophysical properties at the molecular level inside living cells,” said Min-Feng Yu, a professor of mechanical science and engineering and corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in Nano Letters, and posted on the journal’s Web site.

In the paper, Yu and collaborators describe how they deliver, detect and track individual fluorescent quantum dots in a cell’s cytoplasm and nucleus. The quantum dots can be used for studying molecular mechanics and physical properties inside cells.

To create a nanoneedle, the researchers begin with a rigid but resilient boron-nitride nanotube. The nanotube is then attached to one end of a glass pipette for easy handling, and coated with a thin layer of gold. Molecular cargo is then attached to the gold surface via “linker” molecules. When placed in a cell’s cytoplasm or nucleus, the bonds with the linker molecules break, freeing the cargo.

With a diameter of approximately 50 nanometers, the nanoneedle introduces minimal intrusiveness in penetrating cell membranes and accessing the interiors of live cells.


The delivery process can be precisely controlled, monitored and recorded – goals that have not been achieved in prior studies.

“The nanoneedle provides a mechanism by which we can quantitatively examine biological processes occurring within a cell’s nucleus or cytoplasm,” said Yang Xiang, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology and a co-author of the paper. “By studying how individual proteins and molecules of DNA or RNA mobilize, we can better understand how the system functions as a whole.”

The ability to deliver a small number of molecules or nanoparticles into living cells with spatial and temporal precision may make feasible numerous new strategies for biological studies at the single-molecule level, which would otherwise be technically challenging or even impossible, the researchers report.

“Combined with molecular targeting strategies using quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles as molecular probes, the nanoneedle delivery method can potentially enable the simultaneous observation and manipulation of individual molecules,” said Ning Wang, a professor of mechanical science and engineering and a co-author of the paper.

Beyond delivery, the nanoneedle-based approach can also be extended in many ways for single-cell studies, said Yu, who also is a researcher at the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing S.... “Nanoneedles can be used as electrochemical probes and as optical biosensors to study cellular environments, stimulate certain types of biological sequences, and examine the effect of nanoparticles on cellular physiology.”

With Wang, Xiang and Yu, co-authors of the paper are graduate student Kyungsuk Yum and postdoctoral research associate Sungsoo Na. Yu and Wang are affiliated with the university’s Beckman Institute. Wang is also affiliated with the department of bioengineering and with the university’s Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.

The Grainger Foundation, National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health funded the work.

Editor’s notes: To reach Min-Feng Yu, call 217-333-9246; e-mail: mfyu@illinois.edu.

Yang Xiang, 217-265-9448; kevinyx@illinois.edu.
Ning Wang, 217-265-0913; nwangrw@illinois.edu

Views: 55

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

"Destroying the New World Order"

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE SITE!

mobile page

12160.info/m

12160 Administrators

 

TOP CONTENT THIS WEEK

Latest Activity

cheeki kea commented on Chris of the family Masters's blog post What Mandatory Vaccination and the 5G Rollout Have in Common
"Ha ha, at the moment all is not lost Yet. Vaccines have not arrived, and while BLM eliminate…"
26 minutes ago
Chris of the family Masters posted a photo
2 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on James Roberts's video
Thumbnail

China’s New Swine Flu Has “Pandemic Potential”

"Virus has no nuclei, doesn't respire, doesn't excrete, so by definition is dead."
3 hours ago
James Roberts commented on Bud Parker's photo
Thumbnail

Where is Joe Biden Hidin'?

"Demon, trapped in basement - "Join us... Join us... Join us." - The Evil Dead (1981…"
4 hours ago
James Roberts favorited Bud Parker's photo
4 hours ago
James Roberts favorited Chris of the family Masters's blog post Hidden Agenda of Black Lives Matter – Elimination of the Family
4 hours ago
James Roberts commented on James Roberts's video
Thumbnail

China’s New Swine Flu Has “Pandemic Potential”

"Chris - Virus = DNA (or RNA) core with protein shell. Retrovirus = Protein  core with DNA (or…"
4 hours ago
Phyllis Maka posted blog posts
4 hours ago
Larry Flinchpaugh posted blog posts
5 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters posted blog posts
6 hours ago
James Roberts posted videos
6 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited Larry Flinchpaugh's blog post The Coup to Unseat Trump Continues
6 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on James Roberts's video
Thumbnail

China’s New Swine Flu Has “Pandemic Potential”

"How dead thing can have a gene variation?"
7 hours ago
James Roberts favorited Mr. Sizzle's video
9 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited Mr. Sizzle's video
10 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on Mr. Sizzle's video
Thumbnail

Happy 4th to everyone at 12160.info.

"A (coffee n' gun add) Mr Siz ?, It's the best one I've ever seen, I've got to…"
11 hours ago
James Roberts commented on James Roberts's video
Thumbnail

Should the Populist Left Ever Work With the Populist Right?

"Glenn Greenwald, by the way, has been invited on Tucker Carlson in the past, and accepted the…"
11 hours ago
cheeki kea favorited Mr. Sizzle's video
11 hours ago
cheeki kea replied to Chris of the family Masters's discussion A World Without Globalists (i.e. Communists, Freemasons, Satanists, Cabalist Jews)
"Maybe some of this could be possible Chris, except the part of 'Politicians would serve the…"
12 hours ago
Bud Parker posted a photo
12 hours ago

© 2020   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2019 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted