Nanoneedles and Nanostructured Surfaces for Studying Cell Interfacing
Higgins SG., Becce M., Seong H., Stevens MM.
Nanoneedles are a materials platform that facilitates intimate tissue- and cell-interfacing, and drug and nanoparticle delivery. Engineering silicon needles, with <100 nm sharpened tips, allows the response of cells to be studied when the cell membrane and nucleus is placed under extreme curvature. Different cell types respond differently, and are influenced by the geometry of the nanostructures. Topography, material mechanical properties, and surface chemistry all play important roles—with the challenge understanding the impact of each. Here, we briefly review the use of nanoneedles in multiple applications within the Stevens Group, and present the fabrication method used to create biologically relevant nanostructured surfaces. We also discuss the current challenges and future opportunities for nanoneedles.