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R Wen, A Zhang, D Liu, J Feng, J Yang, D Xia, J Wang, C Li, T Zhang, N Hu, T Hang, G He and X Xie
Abstract
One-dimensional nanoneedle-like arrays have emerged as an attractive tool for penetrating cell membrane to achieve intracellular applications including drug delivery, electrical recording and biochemical detection. Hollow nanoneedles, also called nanostraws, combined with nano-electroporation, have been demonstrated as a powerful platform for intracellular drug delivery and extraction of intracellular contents. However, the fabrication technique of nanostraws still required complicated and expensive atomic layer deposition and etching processes, and failed to produce conductive nanostraws. Herein we developed a commonly accessible and versatile electrodeposition approach to controllably fabricate conductive nanostraw arrays based on various types of metal or conductive polymer materials, which could be further integrated with a low-voltage nano-electroporation system to achieve cell detection, intracellular drug delivery and sensing of intracellular enzymes. Both theoretical simulation and experimental results revealed that the conductive nanostraws in direct contact with cells could induce high-efficiency cell electroporation at relatively low voltage (~5 V). Efficient delivery of reagents into live cells with spatial control and repeated extraction of intracellular enzymatic (e.g. caspase-3) for temporal monitoring from the same set of cells were demonstrated. This work not only pioneered a new avenue for universal production of conductive nanostraws in large scale, but also presented great potentials for developing nano-devices to achieve a variety of biomedical applications including cell reengineering, cell-based therapy and signaling pathway monitoring.
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