They perfected an ancient medical method using AI

The ultimate goal of medical science is to optimize diagnostic methods as well as therapeutic treatments. For example, thanks to genetic analysis, a doctor is able to offer safer and more effective care to his patients. Besides, electroporation by nanofontaine or NFP-E probe is used in fundamental research for the deciphering intracellular dynamics. Biologists use it to study the generation of cell lines.

NFP-E is a technique used in microbiology to destabilize cell membranes using an electric field. A team of Northwestern Engineering researchersa private American research university, has perfected this method of analysis thanks to artificial intelligence.

This group led by Professor Horacio Espinosa has found many applications for the new automated NFP-E thanks to its ability to target and selectively manipulate cells.

An AI method applied to engineering

The new NFP-E relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to perform various cellular engineering tasks such as location of cell nuclei or the detection of biomolecules. She allowed automate certain molecular engineering processes such as the movement of the probe, the detection of contact between the probe and the cell or the introduction by electroporation of a foreign charge into cells.

This automation has the advantage of reduce intervention time as much as possible of the researcher and gain in efficiency. Professor Espinosa stated in particular that they were able process small starting samples without significant loss of cells in the entire protocol thanks to NFP-E. In this sense, electroporation by nanofontaine probe East significantly more efficient than bulk electroporation which results in significant cell loss.

NFP-E to selectively manipulate cells

Professor Espinosa and his team published the results of their research in Small, a scientific journal specializing in the field of nanotechnology. He said on that occasion that:

“Selectively manipulating cells at sufficient throughput is a challenge.”

Indeed, the most microfluidic methods based on probes require manual operations very time consuming. These techniques are outdated because they fail to meet the needs for a constant flow of work required by cellular engineering.

Although the NFP-E uses hollow nanopipettes to introduce materials into cells, it has the advantage of allowing researchers to selectively manipulate cells of interest. They were able to work with very small starting samples to introduce proteins and plasmids into various cell types while controlling the dosage.

Source: PHYS.ORG

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