At present, technical hurdles remain in probing biochemical processes in living cells and organisms at nanometre spatial resolution, millisecond time resolution and with high specificity and single-molecule sensitivity. Owing to its unique shape, size and electrical properties, the nanopipette has been used to obtain high-resolution topographic images of live cells under physiological conditions, and to create nanoscale features by controlled delivery of biomolecules. In the present paper, I discuss recent progress in the development of a family of new methods for nanosensing and nanomanipulation using nanopipettes.

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