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Yao and Colleagues Pioneer a Nanowire Sensor with Potential for More Precise Biomedical Devices for Cardiac Disease Studies : Institute for Applied Life Sciences – UMass News and Media Relations

Research led by Jun Yao could lead to more precise biomedical devices for cardiac disease studies, drug testing and regenerative medicine.
Using a suspended nanowire, a University of Massachusetts research team has, for the first time, created a tiny sensor that can simultaneously measure electrical and mechanical cellular responses in cardiac tissue, work promising for cardiac disease studies, drug testing and regenerative medicine.
Electrical and computer engineering (ECE) Ph.D. student Hongyan Gao, first author of the paper published online by the journal Science Advances, describes the invention as “a new tool for improved cardiac studies that has the potential for leading-edge applications in cardiac-disease experiments.”
Because the cell is a basic functional element in biology, its mechanical and electrical behaviors are two key properties that indicate cell state and consequently are important for health monitoring, disease diagnosis and tissue repair.
“A comprehensive assessment of cellular status requires knowledge of both mechanical and electrical properties at the same time,” says research team leader Jun Yao, ECE assistant professor and a biomedical engineering adjunct. These two properties are usually measured by different sensors, and the degree to which the cell’s function is disturbed increases with the number of sensors used.
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