A New Cell Separation Method Based on Antibody-Immobilized Nanoneedle Arrays for the Detection of Intracellular Markers

Journal: Nano Letters

Published: 2017-11-08

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03918

Affiliations: 5

Authors: 11

Go to article

Research Highlight

Fishing for stem cells with nanoneedles

© Andrew Brookes/Cultura/Getty

© Andrew Brookes/Cultura/Getty

Cell separation could become much faster using thousands of tiny needles to hook many cells at the same time.

Stem cell transplants can help repair damaged tissue, but picking specific types of stem cells out from other cells is difficult.

A team including researchers from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology arranged 10,000 hook shaped needles, 200 nanometres wide, that could be inserted into individual cells. The needles were tipped with an antibody to detect the target cell — in this case nerve stem cells. When the force of attraction between the needle and the cell was greater than that between the cell and the surface below, the needle plucked the cell away to be deposited elsewhere. Nearly all the stem cells survived the move and began to transform into nerve cells in the lab.

The technique could improve stem cell transplants for treating damaged nervous systems such as that caused by spinal cord injury.

Supported content

  1. Nano Letters 17, 7117–7124 (2017). doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03918
Institutions Share
Department of Life Science and Biotechnology (DLSBT), AIST, Japan 0.32
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT), Japan 0.32
Osaka University, Japan 0.18
Shizuoka University, Japan 0.09
Department of Materials and Chemistry (DMC), AIST, Japan 0.09