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Trends Biotechnol. 2007 Nov;25(11):481-2.

Penetrating living cells using semiconductor nanowires.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


A recent publication by Kim et al. on penetrating both human embryonic kidney cells and mouse embryonic stem cells with Si nanowires highlights the increasing interest in using proven semiconductor materials not only to detect specific biomolecules in solutions but also to deliver genetic material or potentially screen for the presence of particular molecules at the cell level. Many semiconductors are biocompatible and this recent work has shown that penetrating cells with large diameters compared with those of the semiconductor nanowire is not fatal to the cell and that the cells remain functional for a few days.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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