Device that Allows Scientists to Operate on Living Cells
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Scientists from the Imperial College of London have developed a device that can help the doctors to operate on living cells. They state that the device could usher a chance to dynamically study the cancer cells or brain cells.
The device known as nanobiopsy can take a biopsy of a living cell and sample minute volumes of its contents without harming or killing it. It makes use of a robotic glass known as nanopipette to pierce the cell membrane to about one micrometre and extract a volume of around 50 femtoliters, that is, around 1% of the cells’ total volume. A voltage at the tip of the nanopipette allows it to extract the cells’ content.
The device allows scientists to take samples from a cell repeatedly to study the progression of a disease at a molecular level in an individual cell.