Bio-inspired porous antenna-like nanocube/nanowire heterostructure as ultra-sensitive cellular interfaces

Biao Kong, Jing Tang, Zhangxiong Wu, Cordelia Selomulya, Huanting Wang, Jing Wei, Yongcheng Wang, Gengfeng Zheng, Dongyuan Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, an unconventional antenna-like heterostructure comprised of arrays of nanoporous Prussian blue (PB) nanocube heads/TiO2 nanowire (NW) arms (PB-TiO2) is developed for efficient three-dimensional interfacial sensing of small molecules and cellular activities. Inspired by insect tentacles, which are comprised of both target recognition and signal transduction units, one-dimensional TiO2 NW arrays are grown, followed by selective growth of nanoporous PB nanocubes on the tips of the NW arrays. Due to their high selectivity and bioaffinity toward cells, long biostability under a cell culture adhesion condition (up to 108 h) is obtained, and with its inherent bio-mimetic enzymatic activity, the obtained nanoporous PB nanocubes (head segment) serve as robust substrates for site-selective cell adhesion and culture, which allows for sensitive detection of H 2O2. Simultaneously, the single-crystalline TiO 2 NWs (arm segment) provide efficient charge transport for electrode substrates. Compared with PB-functionalized planar electrochemical interfaces, the PB-TiO2 antenna NW biointerfaces exhibit a substantial enhancement in electrocatalytic activity and sensitivity for H2O 2, which includes a low detection limit (~20 nM), broad detection range (10-8 to 10-5 M), short response time (~5 s) and long-term biocatalytic activity (up to 6 months). The direct cultivation of HeLa cells is demonstrated on the PB-TiO2 antenna NW arrays, which are capable of sensitive electrochemical recording of cellular activity in real time, where the results suggest the uniqueness of the biomimic PB-TiO 2 antenna NWs for efficient cellular interfacing and molecular recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere117
Pages (from-to)e117
Number of pages8
JournalNPG Asia Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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