Dr. Bau’s current research interests are in nano and macro-fluidics and electrokinetics with applications in biology and medicine. His group has developed means for the directed positioning of individual molecules and the study of their mechanical and electrical properties; carbon nanopipe-based devices for cell surgery (funded, in part, by the NTI); and components for and fully integrated laboratories on chips for biological studies and disease detection at the point of care.
Carbon-Based Nanopipettes as Cellular Probes: The core group is developing unique, integrated probes that consist of a macroscopic handle made with a standard glass capillary terminating with a carbon nanopipe with a diameter ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers and a length ranging from microns to tens of microns.
The probe is hollow, facilitating fluid flow through its bore, and electrically conducting, facilitating electrical measurements through its carbon lining. The probe can be used to inject various reagents into cells and to monitor cell membrane potential without causing any harm to the cell. The probe’s tip can be functionalized with proteins, oligonucleotides and nanoparticles. In addition to having superb mechanical properties, the probes are unique in their multifunctional capabilities, allowing for concurrent injection and electrical detection. Although the probes can be used for various applications, the group’s effort currently focuses on cell biology.
For more information about the Cellular Probes core program please visit their website.
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The Promise of Nanotechnology
“The use of nanotechnology in consumer products and industrial applications is growing rapidly, with the products listed in the inventory showing just the tip of the iceberg. How consumers respond to these early products — in food, electronics, health care, clothing and cars — will be a litmus test for broader market acceptance of nanotechnologies in the future.”
–Andrew D. Maynard
Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars