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Maier, Christoph M.; Huergo, Maria Ana; Milosevic, Sara; Pernpeintner, Carla; Li, Miao; Singh, Dhruv P.; Walker, Debora; Fischer, Peer; Feldmann, Jochen; Lohmüller, Theobald (2018): Optical and Thermophoretic Control of Janus Nanopen Injection into Living Cells. In: Nano Letters, Vol. 18, No. 12: pp. 7935-7941
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Devising strategies for the controlled injection of functional nanoparticles and reagents into living cells paves the way for novel applications in nanosurgery, sensing, and drug delivery. Here, we demonstrate the light-controlled guiding and injection of plasmonic Janus nanopens into living cells. The pens are made of a gold nanoparticle attached to a dielectric alumina shaft. Balancing optical and thermophoretic forces in an optical tweezer allows single Janus nanopens to be trapped and positioned on the surface of living cells. While the optical injection process involves strong heating of the plasmonic side, the temperature of the alumina stays significantly lower, thus allowing the functionalization with fluorescently labeled, single-stranded DNA and, hence, the spatially controlled injection of genetic material with an untethered nanocarrier.