Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Issue 6, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Silicon-nanowire based attachment of silicon chips for mouse embryo labelling

Author affiliations


The adhesion of small silicon chips to cells has many potential applications as direct interconnection of the cells to the external world can be accomplished. Hence, although some typical applications of silicon nanowires integrated into microsystems are focused on achieving a cell-on-a-chip strategy, we are interested in obtaining chip-on-a-cell systems. This paper reports the design, technological development and characterization of polysilicon barcodes featuring silicon nanowires as nanoscale attachment to identify and track living mouse embryos during their in vitro development. The chips are attached to the outer surface of the Zona Pellucida, the cover that surrounds oocytes and embryos, to avoid the direct contact between the chip and the embryo cell membrane. Two attachment methodologies, rolling and pushpin, which allow two entirely different levels of applied forces to attach the chips to living embryos, are evaluated. The former consists of rolling the mouse embryos over one barcode with the silicon nanowires facing upwards, while in the latter, the barcode is pushed against the embryo with a micropipette. The effect on in vitro embryo development and the retention rate related to the calculated applied forces are stated. Field emission scanning electron microscopy inspection, which allowed high-resolution imaging, also confirms the physical attachment of the nanowires with some of them piercing or wrapped by the Zona Pellucida and revealed extraordinary bent silicon nanowires.

Graphical abstract: Silicon-nanowire based attachment of silicon chips for mouse embryo labelling

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

03 Nov 2014
12 Jan 2015
First published
12 Jan 2015

Lab Chip, 2015,15, 1508-1514
Article type

Silicon-nanowire based attachment of silicon chips for mouse embryo labelling

S. Durán, S. Novo, M. Duch, R. Gómez-Martínez, M. Fernández-Regúlez, A. San Paulo, C. Nogués, J. Esteve, E. Ibañez and J. A. Plaza, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 1508
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC01299B

Social activity

Search articles by author