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We present a batch-fabricated, biocompatible and optically transparent lab-on-a-chip device that incorporates a planar array of nanoholes that can potentially be used for electrical or pharmacological interrogation of large numbers of cells as well as for precise biochemical delivery to cells. The nanoholes are defined in a silicon nitride layer using electron beam lithography and chemical etching techniques. Each nanohole in the array is microfluidically accessible and individually addressable from both sides via a PDMS microchannel network, allowing for rapid perfusion and exchange of fluids. A thin PDMS layer between the silicon nitride and the PDMS microchannels electrically isolates each nanohole. The electrical properties of our nanohole devices are within the typical range for traditional glass patch-clamp micropipettes of similar diameters and appear suitable for low-current measurements of ion diffusion through the nanoholes. Various types of cells cultured in these devices proliferated normally, showing the biocompatibility of our devices. We have also demonstrated the efficacy of our nanohole device for studies of cell chemotaxis using interleukin-8 directed migration of neutrophils as our model system.
Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.