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nanotweezers


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https://www.sciencenews.org/article/new-nanotweezers-let-scientists-do-biopsies-living-cells?tgt=nr

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It’s like the world’s smallest game of “Operation.” A new set of nanotweezers can extract DNA and other single molecules from a living cell without killing it.

Examining the molecular contents of a single cell has traditionally required killing the cell by bursting it open. But that process provides only a single snapshot of the cell’s molecular makeup at the time of its death. The new nanotweezers, reported online December 3 in Nature Nanotechnology, could enable long-term analysis of what’s going on inside individual cells to better understand how healthy cells work and where diseased cells go wrong.

The nanotweezers comprise a glass rod with a tip less than 100 nanometers across, capped with two carbon-based electrodes. Applying an electric voltage to the tweezers creates a powerful electric field in the immediate vicinity of the electrodes, which can attract and trap biomolecules within about 300 nanometers of the tweezer tip.

113018_MT_nanotweezers_feat.jpg

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