Methods for probing mechanical responses of mammalian cells to electrical excitations can improve our understanding of cellular physiology and function. The electrical response of neuronal cells to applied voltages has been studied in detail, but less is known about their mechanical response to electrical excitations. Studies using atomic force microscopes (AFMs) have shown that mammalian cells exhibit voltage-induced mechanical deflections at nanometre scales, but AFM measurements can be invasive and difficult to multiplex. Here we show that mechanical deformations of neuronal cells in response to electrical excitations can be measured using piezoelectric PbZr(x)Ti(1-)(x)O(3) (PZT) nanoribbons, and we find that cells deflect by 1 nm when 120 mV is applied to the cell membrane. The measured cellular forces agree with a theoretical model in which depolarization caused by an applied voltage induces a change in membrane tension, which results in the cell altering its radius so that the pressure remains constant across the membrane. We also transfer arrays of PZT nanoribbons onto a silicone elastomer and measure mechanical deformations on a cow lung that mimics respiration. The PZT nanoribbons offer a minimally invasive and scalable platform for electromechanical biosensing.
") upon neural activation. For example, membrane depolarization of 100 mV is related with cell swelling of approx. 1 nm . These mechanical changes are very likely the cause of signals also measured non-invasively in vivo by neuroimaging methods such as diffusion-weighted functional magnetic-resonance imaging (DfMRI) (e.g. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Harvest mechanical energy with variable frequency and amplitude in our environment for building self-powered systems is an effective and practically applicable technology to assure the independently and sustainable operation of mobile electronics and sensor networks without the use of a battery or at least with extended life time. In this study, we demonstrated a novel and simple arch-shaped flexible triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that can efficiently harvesting irregular mechanical energy. The mechanism of the TENG was intensively discussed and illustrated. The instantaneous output power of single TENG device can reach as high as∼4.125 mW by a finger typing, which is high enough to instantaneously drive 50 commercial blue LEDs connected in series, demonstrating the potential application of the TENG for self-powered systems and mobile electronics.
Nano Energy 01/2012; 2(4):491-497. DOI:10.1016/j.nanoen.2012.11.015 · 10.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thermally activated, untethered microgrippers can reach narrow conduits in the body and be used to excise tissue for diagnostic analyses. As depicted in the figure, the feasibility of an in vivo biopsy of the porcine bile duct using untethered microgrippers is demonstrated.
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