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Nanopipettes as Monitoring Probes for the Single Living Cell: State of the Art and Future Directions in Molecular Biology.

  • Author(s): Bulbul, Gonca
  • Chaves, Gepoliano
  • Olivier, Joseph
  • Ozel, Rifat Emrah
  • Pourmand, Nader
  • et al.
Abstract

Examining the behavior of a single cell within its natural environment is valuable for understanding both the biological processes that control the function of cells and how injury or disease lead to pathological change of their function. Single-cell analysis can reveal information regarding the causes of genetic changes, and it can contribute to studies on the molecular basis of cell transformation and proliferation. By contrast, whole tissue biopsies can only yield information on a statistical average of several processes occurring in a population of different cells. Electrowetting within a nanopipette provides a nanobiopsy platform for the extraction of cellular material from single living cells. Additionally, functionalized nanopipette sensing probes can differentiate analytes based on their size, shape or charge density, making the technology uniquely suited to sensing changes in single-cell dynamics. In this review, we highlight the potential of nanopipette technology as a non-destructive analytical tool to monitor single living cells, with particular attention to integration into applications in molecular biology.

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