Mar 23, 2010
Antibody-functionalized nickel nanowires for cell separation
The use of antibody-functionalized nickel nanowires for magnetically separating mouse endothelial cells has revealed that the cell separation yield is closely related to the cell concentration and the nanowire/cell ratio. Reporting their results in the journal Nanotechnology, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology, US, have functionalized nickel nanowires using antibodies to compare the cell separation capabilities of the material with those of commercial magnetic beads.
Although the volume of nanowires used in the experiments was approximately 1/60 times that of magnetic beads, the cell separation capacity of nanowires for target cells was comparable to or better than that of magnetic beads. Considering the difference in volume of the material used, antibody-functionalized nanowires show an obvious advantage in cell separation.
Further study on the effect of nickel nanowires on target cells for a prolonged culturing period confirmed that cell morphology remained comparable to that of the control cells, but with a lower proliferation rate.
The internalization of nickel nanowires by living cells provides opportunities for drug delivery, as it can be used to apply force and induce hyperthermia in cells.
Overall, the work demonstrates that antibody-functionalized nickel nanowires are a promising alternative to microbeads for efficient cell separation and provides valuable data for the application of antibody-functionalized nanowires in this role. The study also points towards further bioapplications of nanowire-bound cells after separation.
Full details are available in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
The work was performed at the mechanical engineering department in collaboration with the biomedical engineering department at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, US. The team was led by Prof. E H Yang. Dr Ning Gao is a postdoctoral scholar under the supervision of Profs E H Yang and Hongjun Wang. She is currently working on nanomaterial bioapplications including bioseparation, nanomaterial functionalization and biosensors based on graphene and nanowires. Dr Wang is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. Before joining Stevens he worked as a research fellow at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and in the Dermatology Department at Harvard Medical School, where he studied the UV-induced signal transduction in skin ageing. Dr Yang is currently an associate professor at Stevens Institute of Technology (Mechanical Engineering Department) and director of the Micro Devices Laboratory. Dr Yang came from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he was a senior member of the engineering staff. He received a number of awards, including NASA ICB Space Act Awards, Bonus (Level B and C) Awards and Class 1 NASA Tech Brief Awards. In recognition of his excellence in advancing the use of MEMS-based actuators for space applications, he received the prestigious Lew Allen Award for Excellence at JPL. Dr Yang is currently PI/Co-PI on grants from AFOSR, NSF, NASA SBIR and US Army ARDEC. He holds 10 patents issued or pending and is an associate editor and a member of the Editorial Board of IEEE Sensors Journal. Prof. Yang is also a member of the Editorial Board of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters as well as Science of Advanced Materials.