Toshiba Develops MEMS Based Manipulation Technology for Injecting Nanoparticles in Cells

Dec 09, 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: Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gold nanorods target cancer cells

Dec 18, 2014

Using tiny gold nanorods, researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have demonstrated a potential breakthrough in cancer therapy.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

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.