Internalization and Viability Studies of Suspended Nanowire Silicon Chips in HeLa Cells
Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona, IMB-CNM (CSIC), Campus UAB, Cerdanyola, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Departamento de Biología Celular, Fisiología e Inmunología, Facultad de Biología, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid, IMM-CNM (CSIC), Isaac Newton 8, Tres Cantos, 28760 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050893
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 1 May 2020 / Accepted: 3 May 2020 / Published: 7 May 2020
Micrometer-sized silicon chips have been demonstrated to be cell-internalizable, offering the possibility of introducing in cells even smaller nanoelements for intracellular applications. On the other hand, silicon nanowires on extracellular devices have been widely studied as biosensors or drug delivery systems. Here, we propose the integration of silicon nanowires on cell-internalizable chips in order to combine the functional features of both approaches for advanced intracellular applications. As an initial fundamental study, the cellular uptake in HeLa cells of silicon 3 µm × 3 µm nanowire-based chips with two different morphologies was investigated, and the results were compared with those of non-nanostructured silicon chips. Chip internalization without affecting cell viability was achieved in all cases; however, important cell behavior differences were observed. In particular, the first stage of cell internalization was favored by silicon nanowire interfaces with respect to bulk silicon. In addition, chips were found inside membrane vesicles, and some nanowires seemed to penetrate the cytosol, which opens the door to the development of silicon nanowire chips as future intracellular sensors and drug delivery systems.