Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Nanotechnol. 2010 Jul;5(7):545-51. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2010.104. Epub 2010 Jun 13.

Subcellular-resolution delivery of a cytokine through precisely manipulated nanowires.

Author information

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.


Precise delivery of molecular doses of biologically active chemicals to a pre-specified single cell among many, or a specific subcellular location, is still a largely unmet challenge hampering our understanding of cell biology. Overcoming this could allow unprecedented levels of cell manipulation and targeted intervention. Here, we show that gold nanowires conjugated with a cytokine such as tumour-necrosis factor-alpha can be transported along any prescribed trajectory or orientation using electrophoretic and dielectrophoretic forces to a specific location with subcellular resolution. The nanowire, 6 microm long and 300 nm in diameter, delivered the cytokine and activated canonical nuclear factor-kappaB signalling in a single cell. Combined computational modelling and experimentation indicated that cell stimulation was highly localized to the nanowire vicinity. This targeted delivery method has profound implications for controlling signalling events on the single cell level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center