Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried/Munich have shown that such bioelectronic hybrid systems are no longer just a utopian vision. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, they describe the coupling of a receptor to a silicon chip by means of a cell–transistor interface.
Many receptors are coupled to ion channels within cell membranes. When the corresponding ligand binds to its receptor, the channel is opened, allowing ions to stream into the cell. With a few tiny electrodes (the patch-clamp technique), this stream of ions can be measured; however, this technique destroys the cell. A team headed by Peter Fromherz has now proven that things can be different. Their novel, noninvasive sensor involves coupling of the ion stream directly to a microelectronic device by means of a direct cell–chip contact.
Their test subject was the serotonin receptor, a protein that resides in the membrane and plays an important role in the nervous system. Blockers specific to this receptor are used clinically to reduce the nausea that results from chemotherapy and for the treatment of irritable bowl syndrome. The scientists allowed cells with many serotonin receptors in their membranes to grow onto a silicon chip with a linear arrangement of many transistor switches. For measurement, a cell that covers the tiny gap (gate) of one of the transistors must be selected. The voltage in this cell is controlled with a special electrode. If serotonin is then applied, the ion channels open; a stream of ions flows along a narrow gap between the cell and the chip into the cell. The resulting signal in the transistor voltage is proportional to the current across the membrane.
By using a variety of serotonin concentrations, a dosage–effect relationship can be determined. The application of new potential receptor blockers allows their effectiveness to be quickly and easily evaluated by means of their effect on the transistor signal. “With this coupling of a ligand-steered ion channel to a transistor at the level of an individual cell,” Fromherz says, “we have laid the foundation for receptor-cell–transistor biosensor technology.”
Author: Peter Fromherz, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried (Germany), http://www.biochem.mpg.de/en/research/rd/fromherz/contact/index.html
Title: Recombinant Serotonin Receptor on a Transistor as a Prototype for Cell-Based Biosensors
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200700726
Peter Fromherz | Angewandte Chemie
Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy