Self-organized ZnO nanorod with photooxidative cell membrane perforation enables large-scale cell manipulation

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2008 Aug;391(7):2513-9. doi: 10.1007/s00216-008-2226-2. Epub 2008 Jun 27.


Various devices have been developed for verification and application of cellular functions in recent years. In our previous study, we found that local oxidation reactions in the cell membrane could produce submicron sizes of reversible membrane perforations in cells, while more than 80% of treated cells were viable even after perforations; therefore, to date, we have attempted some applications of this mechanism and analyzed their feasibility. In the present study, we developed a rod-shaped device in which the function of membrane perforation is added by utilizing a photosensitizer and, using the device, we have attempted to produce membrane perforations in a large number of cells. Zinc oxide nanorods were synthesized on the basis of the vapor-liquid-solid mechanism and alpha-terthienyl (photosensitizer) was adsorbed onto gold at the top of the rods to add a membrane perforation function. We studied the effect of the oxidation catalytic ability of the rods on rat PC12 cells after pressing and making the rods' growth side come into contact with the base plate pressed onto the cells in a culture plate followed by photoexcitation of the photosensitizer for a certain period of time. It was revealed that water-soluble fluorescent marker molecules added extracellularly were taken up by the cells when the rods were applied at a pressure of 70 g/cm(2), with a light intensity of 0.82 W/cm(2), and with light irradiation for 30 s, as found in the case of the conventional photochemical cell membrane perforation method targeted at a single cell. These results suggest that cell membrane perforation can be successfully achieved in a large number of cells at a time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytological Techniques / methods*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • PC12 Cells
  • Photochemistry
  • Photosensitizing Agents / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Zinc Oxide / chemistry*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Zinc Oxide