Jan 18, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

Nanofiber Device Can Feel Forces & Hears Sounds Made By Heart Muscle Cells

May 18, 2017 02:41 AM EDT


A new miniature device has been created by the engineers at the University of California San Diego. This nanofiber device is capable of feeling the forces which are generated by swimming bacteria. The beating of the heart muscle cells can also be heard using this sensitive device.

Phys.org reported that the nanofiber device is so small, that it is to up to 100 times thinner when compared to a human hair. Forces can be detected by this mini device down to 160 femtonewtons, which is ten trillion times smaller than a newton. The capability of this device is to detect sounds down to -30 decibels, a level which human ear cannot detect.

The nanofiber device is helpful in tracking the forces from Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which are generally found in the gut. "This work could open up new ways to track little cooperation's and changes that couldn't be followed before," said Nanoengineering teacher Donald Sirbuly at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, who was leading the study.

University of California San Diego News Center cited that the nanofiber device can be helpful in applications such as the detection of the presence and the activities of a single bacterium, monitoring of bond formation and breaking, tracking the changes in a cell's mechanical behavior whether it is becoming cancerous or being attacked by any virus. The research paper was published in the journal Nature Photonics on May 15, 2017.

The nanofiber device is produced using a to a great degree thin fiber of tin dioxide, covered with a thin layer of a polymer, called polyethylene glycol, and studded with gold nanoparticles. To utilize the device, analysts dunk the nano-optical fiber into an answer of cells, send a light emission down the fiber and investigate the light flags it conveys. These signs, in light of their power, show how much drive or sound the fiber is getting from the encompassing cells.

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