Magnetically associated carbon nanotubes with mammalian cells: flow cytometry characterization and applications

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Magnetic CNT can be driven into cells because it has an embedded Ni nanoparticle in its tip. We show herein that CNT-cell complexes are formed in the presence of a magnetic field. The complexes were analyzed by flow cytometry as a quantitative method to monitor the physical interactions between CNTs and cells. We observed an increase in side-scattering signals (SSC), where the amplitude was proportional to the amount of CNTs that are associated with cells. Even after the formation of CNT-cell complexes, cell viability was not significantly decreased. The association between CNTs and cells was strong enough to be used for manipulating the complexes and thereby conducting cell separation with magnetic force. In addition, the CNT-cell complexes were also utilized to facilitate electroporation. We observed a time constant from CNT-cell complexes but not from cells alone, indicating a high level of pore-formation in cell membranes. Experimentally, we achieved the expression of Enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) by using a low eletroporation voltage after CNT-coated EGFP plasmid formed complexes with cells. These results suggest that higher transfection efficiency, lower electroporation voltage, and miniaturized setup dimension of electroporation may be accomplished through the CNT strategy outlined herein.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine & Bio Materials – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 495 - 496
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Medical & Biotech
Topic: Biomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8504-4