The research group led by Toshio Fukuda (Professor) of the Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering, the Graduate School of Engineering (Dean: Katsuaki Onogi), Nagoya University (President: Shinichi Hirano), Fumihito Arai (Professor) of the Department of Bioengineering and Robotics (Dean: Tatsuo Uchida), Tohoku University (President: Akihisa Inoue), and Toshimi Shimizu (Director) and the High-Axial-Ratio Nanostructure Fabrication Team of the Nanoarchitectonics Research Center, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (President: Hiroyuki Yoshikawa) have jointly developed a nanopipette (the ONT nanopipette) that uses an organic nanotube (ONT) as its nanochannel, and which is estimated to be capable of spouting volumes of solution of less than 1 femtoliter (femto- means one quadrillionth : 1015).
The ONT nanopipette is fabricated by fixing a 10-μm-long ONT of inner diameter 50 nm and outer diameter 400 nm, which forms the nanochannel, to a microglass pipette with an inner diameter of 1.8 μm (1,800 nm) by using micromanipulation technology, and then sealing the interspace between the ONT and the glass micropipette with a photo-crosslinkable resin (Figure 1). The spouted amount from the nanopipette can be controlled by the voltage applied to the nanopipette. This ONT nanotube is expected to be used for medical purposes, because of its ability to inject ultrasmall amounts of useful material into a single cell (a volume of a cell is about 1000 femtoliters) or to suck ultrasmall amount of cell ingredients for single-cell analyses.
The research results will be presented at the 7th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE-NANO 2007), organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Inc., which is to be held in Hong Kong on 2nd5th of August 2007.