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Piezoelectric Nanoparticle-Assisted Wireless Neuronal Stimulation

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journal contribution
posted on 28.07.2015, 00:00 by Attilio Marino, Satoshi Arai, Yanyan Hou, Edoardo Sinibaldi, Mario Pellegrino, Young-Tae Chang, Barbara Mazzolai, Virgilio Mattoli, Madoka Suzuki, Gianni Ciofani
Tetragonal barium titanate nanoparticles (BTNPs) have been exploited as nanotransducers owing to their piezoelectric properties, in order to provide indirect electrical stimulation to SH-SY5Y neuron-like cells. Following application of ultrasounds to cells treated with BTNPs, fluorescence imaging of ion dynamics revealed that the synergic stimulation is able to elicit a significant cellular response in terms of calcium and sodium fluxes; moreover, tests with appropriate blockers demonstrated that voltage-gated membrane channels are activated. The hypothesis of piezoelectric stimulation of neuron-like cells was supported by lack of cellular response in the presence of cubic nonpiezoelectric BTNPs, and further corroborated by a simple electroelastic model of a BTNP subjected to ultrasounds, according to which the generated voltage is compatible with the values required for the activation of voltage-sensitive channels.