The interplay of nanoparticle (NP) materials with cells, tissues and organisms including multiple applications, including imaging, sensing and drug delivery, continues. The emerging topic in this field is the use of NPs and nanostructured surfaces for imaging and / or control of cell membrane potential (MP). Given the important role that MP plays in cellular biology, both in normal physiology and in diseases, new materials and methods for testing the activity of power cells, such as neurons and muscle cells, are constantly evolving. In this review, we highlight the state of the art as an MP for visualization and control using traditional materials and techniques, discuss the favorable characteristics of NPs for performing these functions, and present recent examples in the literature of how NP materials occurred. Imaging was performed to visualize and control the activity of power cells. We conclude with a promising perspective on how we expect this area to progress in the near future and in the future.