Towards the silicon nanowire-based sensor for intracellular biochemical detection
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A microneedle sensor platform with integrated silicon nanowire tip was developed for intracellular biochemical detection. Because of the virtue of miniaturized size and high sensitivity, this sensor has a great potential for studying individual cell or localized bioenvironment by revealing the pH level and/or enzyme activities. The fabrication of the microneedle sensor was primarily based on conventional silicon processing, where a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer with 50 nm thick (100) p-type Si device layer was used as the substrate. The silicon nanowires of 50 nm height and 50-100 nm width were created by electron beam (E-beam) lithography on the tip of microneedle with good electrical connection to the contact pads for convenient electrical measurement. A three layer structure with base, support cantilever, and needle tip was designed to ensure convenient handling of sensors and minimize the invasive penetration into biological cells. In this paper, we demonstrate a preliminary assessment of this novel intracellular sensor with electrical conductance measurement under different pH levels. It is expected that this sensor with proper chemical modification will enable localized biochemical sensing within biological cells, such as neurotransmitter activities during the synaptic communication between neuron cells.
author list (cited authors)
Park, I., Li, Z., Li, X., Pisano, A. P., & Williams, R. S.