'Top Down' Approaches for the Study of Single-Cells: Micro-Engineering and Electrical Phenotype
Single-cell analysis is a very important field of research and is currently at the frontier of physical and biological sciences. Understanding how the phenotype of a single-cell arises from its genotype is a complex topic. Currently, the prevailing paradigm to analyze cellular functions is the study of biochemical interactions using fluorescence based imaging systems. However, the elimination of the labelling process is highly desirable to improve the accuracy of the analysis. Living cells are electromagnetic units; in as much they use electric mechanisms to control and regulate dynamic processes involved in inter alia signal transduction, metabolism, proliferation and differentiation. Recent developments in micro- and nanofabrication technologies are offering great opportunities for the analysis of single cells; the combination of micro fluidic environments, nano electrodes/wires and ultra wide band electromagnetic engineering will soon make possible the investigation of local (submicrometer scale) dynamic processes integrating several events at different time scales. In the paper, we present recent approaches which aim at investigating singlecells with the help of MEMS and NEMS (Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems) and ultra wide band (DC-THz) electromagnetic characterization techniques.
P. VINCENZINI and R. BARBUCCI
V. Senez et al., "'Top Down' Approaches for the Study of Single-Cells: Micro-Engineering and Electrical Phenotype ", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 53, pp. 97-106, 2006