Rice University

Events at Rice


Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dean of Engineering

Speaker: Bianxiao Cui
Assistant Professor
Stanford University, Department of Chemistry

Neuroengineering Seminar Series - At the Nano-Bio interface: measuring action potentials with nanoelectrodes

Thursday, May 1, 2014
4:00 PM  to 5:00 PM

1064  George R. Brown Hall
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

"At the Nano-Bio interface: measuring action potentials with nano electrodes" The rapidly evolving field of nanotechnology creates new frontiers for biological sciences. Recently, we and other groups show that vertical nanopillars protruding from a flat surface support cell survival and can be used as subcellular sensors to probe biological processes in live cells. In particular, we are interested in exploring nanotechnology and novel materials to improve the membrane-electrode coupling efficiency. The first approach involves developing vertical nanopillar electrode made of noble metals. The nanopillar electrodes deform plasma membrane inwards and induce negative curvature when the cell engulfs them, leading to a reduction of the membrane-electrode gap distance and a higher sealing resistance. The 3D topology of the nanopillar electrodes is crucial for its enhanced signal detection. The second approach explores a nanoelectrode of a new topology, namely nanotubes with hollow centers. The nanotube geometry further enhances membrane-electrode coupling efficiency and records larger intracellular potentials than nanopillar electrodes. The nanotube topology also significantly increases the time duration of intracellular access. Interestingly, the presence of high membrane curvature induced by vertical nanostructures, affects protein distributions and induces accumulation of certain proteins around them. Those results show a strong interplay between biological cells and nanosized electrode, which is an essential consideration for future development of interfacing devices.

Biography of Bianxiao Cui:
Education: B.S., 1998, University of Science and Technology of China; Ph.D., 2002, the University of Chicago Awards: Elizabeth Norton Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemistry, 2002; NIH Pathway to Independence Career Award, 2006; Dreyfus New Faculty Award, 2008; Terman Fellowship, 2008; Searle Scholar, 2009; Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, 2009; NSF CAREER Award, 2011; Hellman Scholar, 2011; NIH New Innovator Award, 2012; NSF INSPIRE Award, 2013. Chemistry Research Area: Biological Chemistry Physical

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