Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

July 2008


Postprint version. Published in Nanotechnology, Volume 19, Number 32, Article 325102, July 2008, 5 pages.
Publisher URL:


Carbon-based nanoprobes are attractive for minimally-invasive cell interrogation but their application in cell physiology has thus far been limited. We have developed carbon nanopipettes (CNPs) with nanoscopic tips and used them to inject calcium-mobilizing messengers into cells without compromising cell viability. We identify pathways sensitive to cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose (cADPr) and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) in breast carcinoma cells. Our findings demonstrate the superior utility of CNPs for intracellular delivery of impermeant molecules and, more generally, for cell physiology studies. The CNPs do not appear to cause any lasting damage to cells. Their advantages over the commonly used glass pipettes include smaller size, breakage and clogging resistance, and potential for multifunctionality such as concurrent injection and electrical measurements.


carbon nano pipes, nanopipette, cell surgery, cell injection, calcium, calcium messenger



Date Posted: 11 July 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.