Life Sciences

 
DNA Extraction
 

Part of understanding the causes of genetic disorders is finding out why certain genes prefer to reside in specific locations inside the cell nucleus. TNI systems inside SEM is controlled to robotically ‘scoop up” a single chromosome from within a cell nucleus for gene sequencing, without disturbing the rest of the nuclear structures. It works like a nanometer-sized shovel that can robotically shovel target genetic materials out of a single cell nucleus, to understand gene location variations under normal and disease conditions.

SEM-fluorescence image correlation

SEM-fluorescence image correlation

Locate region of interest

Locate region of interest

Use nanospatula to scoop up DNA

Use nanospatula to scoop up DNA

Nucleus fragment rolls onto spatula

Nucleus fragment rolls onto spatula

Extraction completed

Extraction completed

Material extracted

Material extracted

Glue down using EBID

Glue down using EBID

  • B. Chen, D. Anchel, Z. Gong, R. Cotton, R. Li, Y. Sun*, and D.P. Bazett-Jones*, "Identification of genes from nano-dissected sub-nuclear structures," Small, Vol. 10, pp. 3267-74, 2014.

 
Nanowire FET Sensor
 

Nanowire field-effect transistors (nano-FETs) are nanodevices capable of highly sensitive, label-free sensing of molecules. The device consists of two electrodes with nanowire bridging in between. The number of nanowires and the diameter of each nanowire determines the device’s sensitivity. One approach to precisely construct such nano-FETs is shown in the video below. After wafer-scale nanowire contact printing, the Lifeforce nanomanipulators are used to remove unwanted nanowires bridging the two electrodes, leaving a single nanowire in place to maximize sensitivity.

  • J. Li, Y.L. Zhang, S. To, L.D. You, and Y. Sun, “Effect of nanowire number, diameter, and doping density on NanoFET biosensor sensitivity,” ACS Nano, Vol. 5, pp. 6661-6668, 2011.

  • Y.L. Zhang, J. Li, S. To, Y. Zhang, X.T. Ye, L.D. You, and Y. Sun, "Automated nanomanipulation for nano device construction," Nanotechnology, Vol. 23, pp. 065304, 2012.

 
 
 
Single Cell Mechanics
 

TNI instruments are capable of performing nanomechanical measurement on single cells. The high resolution in force and position sensing of the instruments ensures the accurate capturing of force-displacement data for quantifying single cell’s mechanical parameters including Young’s modulus and viscosity.

Focused ion beam modified AFM tip

Focused ion beam modified AFM tip

Nanoinentation of cell nucleus

Nanoinentation of cell nucleus

  • H.J. Liu, J. Wen, Y. Xiao, J. Liu, S. Hopyan, M. Radisic, C.A. Simmons, and Y. Sun, "In situ mechanical characterization of cell nucleus by atomic force microscopy," ACS Nano, Vol. 8, pp. 3821-8, 2014.