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Theoretical analysis and experiments of single cell electroporation using MEMS technology

Authors Yin, Guangyao
Issue Date 2010
Summary Electroporation is one of popular techniques to increase the permeability of cells for DNA transfer and drug delivery, in which an applied electric field induces pores in a cell membrane. The electric-field-induced pores can be regarded as the aqueous pathways in the lipid bilayers of the membrane. The structure of a cell membrane is intrinsically complicated and at the nanometer scale, which makes the understanding of the electroporation academically challenging. In this study, firstly, two-dimensional micro electroporation cell chips were used to do experiments using C2C12 cells. Based on a large number experimental data, the electroporation phase diagram of C2C12 cells was established at the single cell level. Secondly, we considered a cell membrane as a composite of the lipid bilayers and the trans-membrane proteins. Since the trans-membrane proteins are connected to stiff cytoskeletons, the protein positions are assumed to be fixed during the electroporation process when the electric field is lower than a critical value. Thus, the mechanical strain energy is built up in the membrane. Finally, based on such physical picture of Electroporation development, we used the FEM software (ANSYS) to simulate the process of pores’ development and the surface energy, edge energy, electric energy and strain energy were considered together in the simulation. From the analysis of calculation results, the strain energy terms will become more and more important with the expansion of electro-pores. Further, through ours FEM model, we can predict the critical trans-membrane potential which will induce the appearance of electro pores and the size of stable ones. The recovery process also can be explained qualitatively by considering the strain energy in new model.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2010
Language English
Format Thesis
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