Nanoneedle mediated delivery of biosensors to the neural crest lineages


Neural crest cells are multipotent cells arising in the embryonic neural tube. During development, these cells migrate great distances and contribute to tissues such as sensory ganglia and the cranial skeleton. In this project, we propose to use nanoneedles to efficiently, rapidly and specifically deliver biosensors to neural crest cells. This will allow us to track physiological changes in vivo during neural crest stem cell maintenance, migration and differentiation. Our overall goal will be to understand the neural crest specific roles for cilia, which are organelles important for interpreting mechanical and molecular cues.


Tabler JM, Barrell WB, Szabo-Rogers HL, Healy C, Yeung Y, Perdiguero EG, Schulz C, Yannakoudakis BZ, Mesbahi A, Wlodarczyk B, Geissmann F, Finnell RH, Wallingford JB, Liu KJ. Fuz mutant mice reveal shared mechanisms between ciliopathies and FGF-related syndromes. Dev Cell. 2013 Jun 24;25(6):623-35.  


Yannakoudakis BZ, Liu KJ. Common skeletal features in rare diseases: New links between ciliopathies and FGF-related syndromes. Rare Dis. 2013 Nov 11;1:e27109. doi: 10.4161/rdis.27109. eCollection 2013.  


Chiappini C, De Rosa E, Martinez JO, Liu X, Steele J, Stevens MM, Tasciotti E. Biodegradable silicon nanoneedles delivering nucleic acids intracellularly induce localized in vivo neovascularization. Nat Mater. 2015 May;14(5):532-9.  


Chiappini C, Martinez JO, De Rosa E, Almeida CS, Tasciotti E, Stevens MM. Biodegradable nanoneedles for localized delivery of nanoparticles in vivo: exploring the biointerface. ACS Nano. 2015 May 26;9(5):5500-9. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b01490.  


Freter S, Fleenor SJ, Freter R, Liu KJ, Begbie J. Cranial neural crest cells form corridors prefiguring sensory neuroblast migration. Development. 2013 Sep;140(17):3595-600.  

Biological Areas:



Genes, development and STEM approaches to biology