Image of the Day: Itty Bitty Cell Sucker

With a diameter smaller than 100 nanometers, this nanopipette’s indiscernible tip is tiny enough to suck up minute contents of a single cell. 

Jul 21, 2017
The Scientist Staff

The nanopipette penetrates and aspirates a cytoplasm sample from a single fibroblast cell. NADER POURMAND University of California, Santa Cruz, biomolecular engineering professor Nader Pourmand has been named winner of the National Institute of Health’s Follow that Cell Challenge—and the recipient of the accompanying $300,000 prize—for his nanopipette technology capable of targeting single cells, according to a news release. Here, the pipette is penetrating and subsequently aspirating the contents of a fibroblast cell.

"This is the only technology I know of that enables us to repeatedly interrogate a single cell without killing it," Pourmand says in the release. 

Clarification (July 21): We changed the dek of the article to clarify that the pipette sucks up a portion of a cell's interior, not the entire cell.