Vertically configured nanostructure-mediated electroporation: a promising route for intracellular regulations and interrogations

The ability to generate programmable vertically aligned 1D nanoscale substrate topography has spurred advances in five fields of cellular nanotechnology: nanoelectrode-based electrophysiology, intracellular delivery, biosensing, mechanotransduction, and – the focus of this review – understanding the key parameters that govern nanostructure-mediated electroporation for diverse cellular manipulations. The integration of 1D nanostructures into conventional cell manipulation and interrogation systems, based on electroporation, has engendered significant interest over the past decade. We evaluate the latest and most influential studies on engineered nanostructure-mediated electroporation platforms, focusing on the use of tuneable, vertically configured nanostructures – in particular, vertically aligned nanowire, nanostraw, and nanotube arrays – to orchestrate cellular processes such as intracellular delivery, biomolecular extraction, and action potential probing, via both experimental and theoretical studies.