Misha (Mykhailo Sytnyk) used organic pigments from a paint-shop as starting material for a simple wet chemical synthesis of hierarchical nanocrystals with various well controlled bio-inspired shapes and sizes. The nanostructures were found to be ideal scaffolds for cell cultivation, and white blood cells from rats were found to profilerate exclusively on the nanostructure surface, and not on flat substrates. The cells are strongly attached to the pigment nanostructures, without any cleft in between, which was used here to photo-stimulate single cells by light. Light induced ionic currents were detected under physiological conditions due to a photothermal effect. Thus, Mishas cheap pigment nanostructures provide photosensitivity to cells which are otherwise blind, which suggests their use for instance in retinal implants.
Link to the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00135-0