Toshiba Develops MEMS Based Manipulation Technology for Injecting Nanoparticles in Cells

December 9, 2005

Toshiba Corporation today announced the development of manipulation technology for injecting nanoparticles in cells by using subtle vibration generated by a micro electro mechanical system (MEMS)—a fruit of Toshiba's fusion of nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Compared with conventional techniques using laser beam to affect cells physically, the newly developed technology has advantages, such as simultaneous manipulation of numerous cells. Expected applications in the field of biotechnology include a medical analytical tool for investigating the reaction of cells to physical effects and clarifying their detailed properties, and, looking further ahead, a technique for affecting specific cells.

The principle of this technology is as follows. Vibration produced by MEMS causes nanoparticles in a liquid to adhere to cell surfaces. When vibration is applied continuously to nanoparticles adhering to cell surfaces, vibration is converted to thermal energy that affects cell surfaces physically, resulting in injection of nanoparticles into the cells.

Using Toshiba's advanced semiconductor process technology, the company has fabricated a nanoparticle manipulator with a water-repellent MEMS-based diaphragm consisting of numerous micro dishes (20 µm x 20 µm) arranged in a lattice format. In an experiment involving the application of a water droplet containing yeast cells and silica (glass) particles, the principle of this technology was verified.

Toshiba will investigate combinations of various nanomaterials and physical energy excited by MEMS with a view to applying this technology to a novel non-chemical technique for targeting specific cells.

As the mechanical drive of the MEMS structure can be miniaturized to as little as a few square micrometers, optimization of the structure according to the type of cell and application to nanoparticle manipulators for targets other than cells will be pursued.

This technology was announced as one of late news in the session on new application fields for semiconductor technology at the 2005 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), the world's foremost forum for semiconductor technologies, held from December 5 to 7 in Washington, DC, in the United States.

Source: Toshiba

Explore further: ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts

Related Stories

Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy

November 19, 2015

Glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer of the brain also known as "octopus tumors" because of the manner in which the cancer cells extend their tendrils into surrounding tissue, is virtually inoperable, resistant to therapies, ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space-station resupply missions to relaunch

November 29, 2015

NASA's commercial space program returns to flight this week as one of its private cargo haulers, Orbital ATK, is to launch its first supply shipment to the International Space Station in more than 13 months.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.