“Pop” Goes the Sensor
A new device could help scientists identify signs of arrhythmia, heart attack, and cardiac fibrosis
Liv Gaskill | | Quick Read
Engineers have developed a tiny pop-up sensor that directly measures the electrical activity of cardiac muscle tissue at the single-cell level (1). “With this device, we can zoom in to the cellular level and get a very high-resolution picture of what’s going on in the heart; we can see which cells are malfunctioning, which parts are not synchronized with the others, and pinpoint where the signal is weak,” said senior author Sheng Xu (2).
The device’s 3D array of microscopic field effect transistors (FET) makes it unique – allowing it to penetrate cells without damaging them. “It can have two FET sensors penetrate inside one cell – with minimal invasiveness – and allow us to see which way a signal propagates and how fast it goes,” said first author Yue Gu (2). “This detailed information about signal transportation within a single cell has so far been unknown.”
- Yue Gu et al., Nat Nanotechnol, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34949774.
- Liezel Labios (2021). Available at: https://bit.ly/33nK19o.