At the Nano-Bio Interface:
Engineering nanosensors for probing live cells
The rapidly evolving field of nanotechnology creates new frontiers for biological sciences. Recently, we and other groups show that vertical nanopillars protruding from a flat surface support cell survival and can be used as subcellular sensors to probe biological processes in live cells. We are exploring nanopillars as electric sensor, optical sensors, and structural probes. In particular, we find that nanopillar electrode protruding from the flat surface significantly enhances the cell membrane-electrode coupling by deforming the plasma membrane inwards. The interplay between biological cells and nano-sized electrode is an essential consideration for future development of interfacing devices.