Nanowire-array-based gene electro-transfection system driven by human-motion operated triboelectric nanogenerator

Chengbin Yang, Guang Yang, Qingling Ouyang, Shuangyang Kuang, Peiyi Song, Gaixia Xu, Daniel Puiu Poenar, Guang Zhu, Ken Tye Yong, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Electro-transfection serves as a promising non-viral gene delivery approach, but its performance faces several drawbacks associated with the high-voltage electrical pulses involved, which may adversely affect the cell viability. Here we developed a novel TENG (triboelectric nanogenerator)-driven nanowire electrode array (T-NEA) platform to facilitate the electroporation-based siRNA delivery into both adhesive and non-adhesive mammalian cells. Unlike conventional electroporation technology, the T-NEA system is powered by a TENG working in a vertical contact-separation mode, harvesting energy from simple human tapping motion. Since lower voltage is involved in the T-NEA system as compared to conventional electroporation method, high (>90%) cell viability was achieved for all of the six kinds of cell lines used in the experiments. Highly efficient siRNA electro-transfection was achieved at a tiny amount of energy consumption. The results exhibit that siRNA molecules could be successfully delivered into more than 95% of MiaPaCa-2 cell. Even for K562 cells, which is well-known as difficult-to-transfect cell, the delivery efficiency of siRNA reaches 84%. With the T-NEA system, the K-ras gene expression in MiaPaCa-2 cells was down-regulated by 46 ± 6.29%, and the bcr-abl gene expression was reduced by 31.6 ± 6.67% in K562 cells. When the expressions of the targeted mutation genes were significantly down-regulated, the cell proliferation and anti-apoptosis ability were significantly inhibited. Overall, the T-NEA system is demonstrated as an effective and versatile platform for high-throughput gene delivery in biological research and clinical cancer treatments due to its versatility, efficiency, and uniformity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103901
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Electro-transfection
  • Gene delivery
  • Nanowires
  • Self-powered
  • Triboelectric nanogenerator
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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