Cell Surface Engineering: Fabrication of Functional Nanoshells
CHAPTER 7: Microelectronic Devices Based on Nanomaterial-Carrier Cells
Published:08 Jul 2014
Vivek Maheshwari, Shehan Salgado, 2014. "Microelectronic Devices Based on Nanomaterial-Carrier Cells", Cell Surface Engineering: Fabrication of Functional Nanoshells, Rawil Fakhrullin, Insung Choi, Yuri Lvov
Download citation file:
Cells are structured materials with specific organization targeted to accomplish the task of sustaining life. The outer layer of cells is a plasma membrane or a cell wall, both of which act as barriers leading to a controlled environment inside the cell. This barrier composed of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins is organic in composition. The natural environment of the cells dictates that ions and protons are the primary charged species that are the part of cellular processes. The evolution of ion and proton pumps and channels is a clear indication of their crucial role in sustaining life. Electrons, on the other hand, play a very limited role (mostly short range) due to the aqueous nature and organic composition of a cell's environment. This selection dictated by the natural environment of cells leads to significant challenges for development of electronic devices integrated with or based on cells. This is apparent in human environment, where most of our biological processes are biochemical and based on ions, but our civilization is driven in large part by electron-based processes including our basic source of energy – electricity. The integration of cells with an active microelectronic interface therefore requires the design of an interface for coupling an organic-ionic entity with an inorganic–electronic material.