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The Role of Nanotechnology in Single-Cell Detection: A Review

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Biological processes in single cells, such as signal transduction, DNA duplication, and protein synthesis and trafficking, occur in subcellular compartments at nanoscale level. Achieving high spatial-temporal resolution, high sensitivity, and high specificity in single-cell detection poses a great challenge. Nanotechnology, which has been widely applied in the fields of medicine, electronics, biomaterials, and energy production, has the potential to provide solutions for single-cell detection. Here we present a review of the use of nanotechnology in single-cell detection over the past two decades. First, we review the main areas of scientific interest, including morphology, ion concentration, DNA, RNA, protein, intracellular temperature, elements, and mechanical properties. Second, four categories of application of nanotechnology to single-cell detection are described: nanomanipulation, nanodevices, nanomaterials as labels, and nano Secondary ion mass spectrometry. Finally, the prospects and future trends in single-cell detection and analysis are discussed.
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Keywords: AFM; INTRACELLULAR; NANODEVICES; NANOMANIPULATION; NANOMATERIALS; NANOTECHNOLOGY; SINGLE CELLS

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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  • 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.
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