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Intracellular Delivery and Sensing System Based on Electroplated Conductive Nanostraw Arrays

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2019, 12:33 authored by Rui Wen, Ai-hua Zhang, Di Liu, Jianming Feng, Jiang Yang, Dehua Xia, Ji Wang, Chunwei Li, Tao Zhang, Ning Hu, Tian Hang, Gen He, Xi Xie
One-dimensional nanoneedle-like arrays have emerged as an attractive tool for penetrating the cell membrane to achieve intracellular applications including drug delivery, electrical recording, and biochemical detection. Hollow nanoneedles, also called nanostraws (NSs), combined with nanoelectroporation have been demonstrated as a powerful platform for intracellular drug delivery and extraction of intracellular contents. However, the fabrication technique of nanostraws still requires complicated and expensive atomic layer deposition and etching processes and fails 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. Representatively, Pt nanostraws (Pt NSs) with 400 nm diameter were further integrated with a low-voltage nanoelectroporation system to achieve cell detection, intracellular drug delivery, and sensing of intracellular enzymes. Both theoretical simulations 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 enzymes (e.g., caspase-3) for temporal monitoring from the same set of cells were demonstrated. This work not only pioneers a new avenue for universal production of conductive nanostraws on a large scale but also presents great potential for developing nanodevices to achieve a variety of biomedical applications including cell re-engineering, cell-based therapy, and signaling pathway monitoring.

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