STTR Phase I: Carbon Nanopipettes Fabrication and Commercial Applicationsýýýýfor Electrochemical Detection

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Vegrandis, LLC
VEGRANDIS, LLC, 535 W. Research Blvd., Suite 135, M/S 200
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Pennsylvania
3330 Walnut Street, Levine hal
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to develop a novel and commercially scalable method for fabricating integrated carbon nanopipes (nanopipettes). The carbon nanopipettes (CNP) have a wide variety of potential applications both for liquid delivery and as nanoelectrodes for electrochemical detection. The patent pending method renders carbon nanopipettes without the need for ex situ assembly and facilitates parallel production of multiple devices. Unlike all the other carbon nanostructures, the carbon nanopipettes are individually addressable as standalone pipettes for the delivery of nanoliter volumes of solutions. They are flexible, can bend significantly without breakage, and recover their initial shape once external forces have been removed. Each carbon nanopipette can function as a single nanosized electrode and can be used for both liquid delivery and as an electrode at the same time. Therefore, they areexceptionally well suited for micro-electrochemical detection applications. Electrochemical devices have demonstrated outstanding performance and different applications are presently being commercialized by Vegrandis. The proposed new probe format with its built-in nanofluidic delivery capability opens up a broad range of promising new applications.Commercially, the promising applications of carbon nanopipes as nanoelectrodes and nanopipettes require improvements over existing methods of fabrication. The nanoscale carbon pipette electrodes proposed here use a fabrication process that eliminates the need for cumbersome nano-assembly. The proposed devices have a broad range of potential applications including cell-based assays, high throughput screening, and life science research applications such as delivery of biomolecules to internal locations within cells with minimal intrusion. Electrochemistry measurements can be made within the cells with the nanopipettes. In addition to micro-titer assay applications to be developed by Vegrandis, the individual devices are expected to find immediate market acceptance due to the relatively low anticipated production costs and the extremely high anticipated performance.