3D Nanostructures for Bio-Sensing in Living Cells
July 19th, 2019 FRANCESCO DE ANGELIS Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

The ability to interact with living cells and to monitor their status plays a pivotal role in neuroscience, pharmacology and cell biology. In the last years, we deeply investigated both theoretically and experimentally the interactions of 3D nanostructured surface sensors with living cells such human neurons and cardiomyocytes. The aim is to make an effective interface between the intracellular compartment and different class of nano-sensors including optical sensors (plasmonic enhanced spectroscopies), electrodes and nano-needles for intracellular delivery or sampling. We developed a method based on plasmonic generation of nano-shockwaves for opening transient nanopores into the cell membrane. After the membrane poration the tip of the sensor is in direct contact with the intracellular compartment thus enabling intracellular investigations which include Raman traces of biomolecules, electrical recording of action potentials of human neurons and cardiomyocites, and controlled delivery of single nanoparticles into selected cells. Recently we introduced the concept of planar meta-electrodes and we combined these technologies with CMOS multi-electrode arrays. We demonstrated the possibility of non-invasively testing the effect of relevant drugs on human cells with particular regard of cardio-toxicity that is a fundamental step before the clinical trials. Due to its robustness and easiness of use, we expect the method will be rapidly adopted by the scientific community and by pharmaceutical companies. In fact, the field suffers the lack of reliable approaches for pharmacological screening of drugs devoted to the central nervous system. Also, we will take this opportunity to give a short overview of different optical biosensors we are currently developing such as single molecule Raman Sensors, DNA sensors, and novel technologies for protein sequencing.

Seminar, July 19, 2019, 12:00. ICFO’s Seminar Room

Hosted by Prof. Romain Quidant