Fabrication of bio/nano interfaces between biological cells and carbon nanotubes using dielectrophoresis

Junya Suehiro, Naoki Ikeda, Akio Ohtsubo, Kiminobu Imasaka

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The authors have previously demonstrated the manipulation of bacteria and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using dielectrophoresis (DEP) and its application for various types of biological and chemical sensors. This paper demonstrates simultaneous DEP handling of bacteria and CNTs, which are mixed and suspended in water. The CNTs were solubilized in water using microplasma-based treatment. When a microelectrode was energized with an ac voltage in the suspension of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells and multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs), both of them were simultaneously trapped in the microelectrode gap. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images revealed that E. coli cells were trapped on the surface or the tip of MWCNTs, where the electric field strength was intensified due to high aspect ratio of MWCNTs. As a result, bio/nano interfaces between bacteria and MWCNTs were automatically formed in a self-assembly manner. A potential application of the DEP-fabricated bio/nano interfaces is a drug delivery system (DDS), which is realized by transporting drug molecules from CNTs to cells across the cell membrane, which can be electroporated by the local high electric field formed on the CNT surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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