Exploring arrays of vertical one-dimensional nanostructures for cellular investigations

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The endeavor of exploiting arrays of vertical one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures (NSs) for cellular applications has recently been experiencing a pronounced surge of activity. The interest is rooted in the intrinsic properties of high-aspect-ratio NSs. With a height comparable to a mammalian cell, and a diameter 100-1000 times smaller, NSs should intuitively reach far into a cell and, due to their small diameter, do so without compromising cell health. Single NSs would thus be expedient for measuring and modifying cell response. Further organization of these structures into arrays can provide up-scaled and detailed spatiotemporal information on cell activity, an achievement that would entail a massive leap forward in disease understanding and drug discovery. Numerous proofs-of-principle published recently have expanded the large toolbox that is currently being established in this rapidly advancing field of research. Encouragingly, despite the diversity of NS platforms and experimental conditions used thus far, general trends and conclusions from combining cells with NSs are beginning to crystallize. This review covers the broad spectrum of NS materials and dimensions used; the observed cellular responses with specific focus on adhesion, morphology, viability, proliferation, and migration; compares the different approaches used in the field to provide NSs with the often crucial cytosolic access; covers the progress toward biological applications; and finally, envisions the future of this technology. By maintaining the impressive rate and quality of recent progress, it is conceivable that the use of vertical 1D NSs may soon be established as a superior choice over other current techniques, with all the further benefits that may entail.

Udgave nummer36
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2014

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