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Biophysics

High-performance DNA biosensor

High-performance DNA biosensor

The DNA biosensor involves the fabrication of interdigitated microelectrodes with a rolled-up configuration inside a microchannel. The sensor reaches attomolar level detection of Avian Influenza Virus H1N1 DNA without any labelling or amplification. The observed reduction of resistance to charge transfer for the rolled-up electrodes is consistent with enhanced electron hopping/tunneling along the DNA chains due to a high electric field inside the microtubular sensor. Conformational changes of DNA might also contribute to this effect.

M. Medina-Sánchez, et al., Nano Lett. 16, 4288 (2016) URL PDF

Division of single human cancer cells in on-chip transparent microtubes

Division of single human cancer cells in on-chip transparent microtubes

We mimic metastasizing tumor cells dividing inside blood capillaries by investigating single-cell divisions of living human cancer cells, trapped inside 3D rolled-up microtubes. Our study gains deep molecular insights into key cellular events occurring in tubular microenvironments in vivo.

W. Xi et al., ACS Nano 10, 5835 (2016) URL PDF

This work was highlighted in:

  • sciencenews.org (June 2016) URL
Micromotorized sperms for artificial fertilization

Micromotorized sperms for artificial fertilization 

We present artificially motorized sperm cells—a novel type of hybrid micromotor, where customized microhelices serve as motors for transporting sperm cells with motion deficiencies to help them carry out their natural function. We manage to drive the motorized sperms to an oozyte for potential fertilization and then release it. Despite the fact that there still remain some challenges on the way to achieve successful fertilization, we believe that the potential of this novel approach toward assisted reproduction can be already put into perspective with the present work. 

M. Medina-Sanchez et al., Nano Lett. 16, 555 (2016) URL PDF

This work was highlighted in: 

  • ACS Chemistry for Life (January 2016) URL
  • AAAS Science (January 2016) URL
  • Mail Online (January 2016) URL
  • Phys.org (January 2016) URL
Cancer treatment by dual-action biogenic microdaggers

Cancer treatment by dual-action biogenic microdaggers

We present dual-action biogenic microbots with a dagger-like morphology for cellular microsurgery and drug delivery. These biocompatible micromotors allow magnetically controlled drilling into a target cell along with the sustained release of a loaded drug. This study highlights “selective targeting and destruction” of harmful cells in living systems and advances the understanding of microscale interactions at the cellular level.

S. K. Srivastava et al., Adv. Mater. 28, 832 (2016) URL PDF

Biomimetic microelectronics for regenerative neuronal cuff implants

Biomimetic microelectronics for regenerative neuronal cuff implants

Smart biomimetics, a unique class of devices combining the mechanical adaptivity of soft actuators with the imperceptibility of microelectronics, is introduced. Due to their inherent ability to self-assemble, biomimetic microelectronics can firmly yet gently attach to an inorganic or biological tissue enabling enclosure of, for example, nervous fibers, or guide the growth of neuronal cells during regeneration. This work was carried out in close collaboration with the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

D. Karnaushenko et al., Adv. Mater. 27, 6797 (2015) URL PDF

Neural stem cell migration under spatial confinement

Neural stem cell migration under spatial confinement

We exploit the well-defined geometry and optical transparency of glass microtubes to investigate how scaffold dimensionality and cell confinement influence the spontaneous migration of neural stem cells. These findings advance our comprehension of how the extracellular environment can control cell behavior, which is of major importance in tissue engineering and biomaterial-assisted cell delivery applications.

B. Koch et al., Nano Lett. 15, 5530 (2015) URL PDF

Rolled-up functionalized nanomembranes as three-dimensional cavities for single cell studies

Rolled-up functionalized nanomembranes as three-dimensional cavities for single cell studies

We use micropatterning and strain engineering to encapsulate single living mammalian cells into transparent tubular architectures consisting of 3D rolled-up nanomembranes. The spatial confinement of mitotic mammalian cells inside tubular architectures can perturb metaphase plate formation, delay mitotic progression, and cause chromosomal instability in both a transformed and nontransformed human cell line. These findings could provide important clues into how spatial constraints dictate cellular behavior and function. This work was carried out in collaboration with the University of Cambridge in the UK, the Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany and the Johns Hopkins University in the US.

W. Xi et al., Nano Lett., 14 (8), 4197 (2014) URL PDF

Impedemetric sensing of ionic fluids and single cells in a single microtube

Impedemetric sensing of ionic fluids and single cells in a single microtube

Ultracompact three-dimensional tubular structures integrating Au-based electrodes serve as impedimetric microsensors for the in-flow determination of mono- and divalent ionic species and HeLa cells. The microsensors show a two orders of magnitude improved performance over conventional planar conductivity detection systems integrated in micro fluidic platforms and the capability to detect single HeLa cells. These highly integrated conductivity tubular sensors open new possibilities towards lab-in-a-tube devices for bioapplications such as biosensing and bioelectronics. 

C.S. Martinez-Cisneros et al., Nano Lett. 14, 2219 (2014) URL PDF

A sperm driven micro-bio-robot

A sperm driven micro-bio-robot 

A new biohybrid micro-robot is developed by capturing bovine sperm cells inside ferromagnetic microtubes that use the motile cells as driving force. These micro-bio-robots can be remotely controlled by an external magnetic field. The performance of micro-robots is described in dependence on tube radius, cell penetration and temperature. The combination of a biological power source and a microdevice is a compelling approach to the development of new microrobotic devices with fascinating future applications such as in-vivo artificial fertilization. 

V. Magdanz et al., Adv. Mater. 25, 6581 (2013)
URL PDF

This work was highlighted in:

  • www.roboticstomorrow.com (March 2015) URL
  • news.discovery.com (January 2014) URL
  • Phys.org (January 2014) URL
  • Deutschlandfunk (January 2014) URL
  • Gizmag (January 2014) URL
  • FOX News (December 2013) URL
  • Science for the Curious Discover (December 2013) URL
  • The Independent (December 2013) URL
  • New Scientist (December 2013) URL
  • Vice Media Inc. (December 2013) URL
  • Le figaro - fr (December 2013) URL
  • FierceDrugDelivery (December 2013) URL
  • Tech Times (December 2013) URL
Lab-in-a-tube

Lab-in-a-tube

A lab-in-a-tube device comprises numerous ultracompact components in a single tube which can be developed using rolled-up technology. A single device, being one of thousands in the on-chip system, would be independently capable of stimulating, monitoring and investigating individual organisms.  

E. J. Smith et al., Lab Chip 12, 1917 (2012) URL PDF

Lab-in-a-tube

Lab-in-a-tube

Working towards creating a fully functional Lab-in-a-tube, we report a method for the precise capturing of embryonic fibroblast mouse cells into rolled-up microtube resonators. The microtubes contain a nanometer-sized gap in their wall which defines a new type of optofluidic sensor, i.e., a flexible split-wall microtube resonator sensor (F-SW?RS), employed as a label-free fully integrative detection tool for individual cells. The sensor action works through peak sharpening and spectral shifts of whispering gallery modes within the microresonators under light illumination.

E. J. Smith et al., Nano Lett. 11, 4037 (2011) URL PDF

Transport of animal cell material by catalytic microbots

Transport of animal cell material by catalytic microbots

Animal cells can be transported within a fluid in a controllable manner by using artificial microbots. The Ti/Fe/Pt rolled-up catalytic microjet engine (microbot) is guided towards a specific cell, which is moved to a desired location where it is released. The direction of the microbots is easily steered by using an external small magnetic field. This work paves the way to future biomedical applications of artificial micromachines such as curing unhealthy cells or separation of cancer cells.

S. Sanchez et al., Chem. Commun. 47, 698-700  (2011) URL PDF

This work was highlighted in:

Chemistry World (Nov 19, 2010) URL

Neuron cells cultured in rolled-up microtubes

Neuron cells cultured in rolled-up microtubes

Primary mouse motor neurons and immortalised CAD cells, a cell line derived from the central nervous system, can be well cultured on arrays of rolled-up microtubes. In this way, we investigate the influence of topographical surface features on the growth and differentiation behaviour of these cells inside and outside of strongly 2D confined space. Our work opens up a cost-efficient and bio-compatible way of analysing single cell behaviour for various biological applications ranging from neurite protection studies to cell sensor development.

S. Schulze et al., Adv. Eng. Mater. 12, B558 (2010) URL PDF

Cell culturing in single tubes integrated on a Si Chip

Cell culturing in single tubes integrated on a Si Chip

Transparent oxide rolled-up microtube arrays are realized by the deposition of a pre-stressed oxide layer on patterned photoresist and the subsequent removal of the photoresist. Due to the unique tubular structure and optical transparency, such rolled-up microtubes can serve as well-defined 2D confined cell culture scaffolds. Yeast cells exhibit different growth phenomena in microtubes as the diameter is scaled down. Detailed investigations of individual yeast cells in a single microtube reveal the mechanical interaction between microtubes and the 2D confined cells causing different cellular assemblies. Our appoach is fully compatible to Si technology and might lead to high speed integrated analysis systems of individual cells on a single chip.

G. S. Huang et al., Lab Chip 9, 263-268 (2009) URL PDF

Strain engineered micro-/nanotubes on polymers

Strain engineered micro-/nanotubes on polymers

A generic approach has been developed to engineer tubular micro-/nanostructures out of many different materials with tunable diameters and lengths by precisely releasing and rolling up functional nanomembranes on polymers. The technology spans across different scientific fields ranging from photonics to biophysics and we demonstrate optical ring resonators, magneto-fluidic sensors, remotely controlled microjets and 2D confined channels for cell growth guiding.

Y. F. Mei et al., Adv. Mater. 20, 4085 (2008) URL PDF

This work was highlighted in:

  • P.M. Magazine (February 17, 2009) URL
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (November 11, 2008) URL
  • Nanowerk (October 20, 2008) URL
  • Pro Physik (October 20, 2008) URL
  • Bild (August 27, 2008) URL

 

  

Professor Oliver G. Schmidt

Director:

Prof. Dr. Oliver G. Schmidt
IFW Dresden
Helmholtzstr. 20
D-01069 Dresden

Contact: 

Office
Kristina Krummer
office-iin (at) ifw-dresden.de
Phone:+49 351 4659 810
Fax:+49 351 4659 782