Spearhead Nanometric Field-Effect Transistor Sensors for Single-Cell Analysis

Yanjun Zhang, Jan Clausmeyer, Babak Babakinejad, Ainara López Córdoba, Tayyibah Ali, Andrew Shevchuk, Yasufumi Takahashi, Pavel Novak, Christopher Edwards, Max Lab, Sahana Gopal, Ciro Chiappini, Uma Anand, Luca Magnani, R. Charles Coombes, Julia Gorelik, Tomokazu Matsue, Wolfgang Schuhmann, David Klenerman, Elena V. SviderskayaYuri Korchev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Nanometric field-effect-transistor (FET) sensors are made on the tip of spear-shaped dual carbon nanoelectrodes derived from carbon deposition inside double-barrel nanopipettes. The easy fabrication route allows deposition of semiconductors or conducting polymers to comprise the transistor channel. A channel from electrodeposited poly pyrrole (PPy) exhibits high sensitivity toward pH changes. This property is exploited by immobilizing hexokinase on PPy nano-FETs to give rise to a selective ATP biosensor. Extracellular pH and ATP gradients are key biochemical constituents in the microenvironment of living cells; we monitor their real-time changes in relation to cancer cells and cardiomyocytes. The highly localized detection is possible because of the high aspect ratio and the spear-like design of the nano-FET probes. The accurately positioned nano-FET sensors can detect concentration gradients in three-dimensional space, identify biochemical properties of a single living cell, and after cell membrane penetration perform intracellular measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3214-3221
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 22


  • ATP
  • FET
  • biosensor
  • nanoelectrode
  • nanopipette
  • nanosensor
  • scanning probe microscopy


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