My current research is focused on minimizing the damage that cells experience during cellular injection. The outcome of this study is expected to make advancements in emerging medical technologies such as single cell and single organelle surgeries, as well as contribute to the treatment of infertility. Using both experimental and computational components, I am determining the forces and deformations that are required to puncture spherical cells with both glass micropipettes and carbon nanotube pipettes. This work is partially supported by the W.M. Keck foundation as a way of quantifying the amount of damage done to cells during injection. In addition, this information can then be used to create an automated cellular injection system in which the injection pipette will be inserted into the cell membrane far enough so that the membrane is penetrated, but not further into the contents of the cell where it may cause additional damage.
|Finite element analysis of protein filament acting against a neuronal membrane.|
|Working in the clean room at the National Nanotechnology Laboratories in Lecce, Italy.|
|Schematic of pipette impinging on a cell. Puncture force is determined by determining spring deformation.|
|Schematic of experimental setup.|
|Peripheral neuron extension. The proteins (microtubules and actin filaments) that are responsible for cell growth are highlighted.|
Peripheral neuron observation with Dr. Layton.