Author(s): Dalmay C, Villemejane J, Joubert V, Silve A, ArnaudCormos D,
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Abstract This paper deals with the development of a microfluidic biochip for the exposure of living cells to nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF). When exposed to ultra short electric pulses (typical duration of 3-10ns), disturbances on the plasma membrane and on the intra cellular components occur, modifying the behavioral response of cells exposed to drugs or transgene vectors. This phenomenon permits to envision promising therapies. The presented biochip is composed of thick gold electrodes that are designed to deliver a maximum of energy to the biological medium containing cells. The temporal and spectral distributions of the nsPEF are considered for the design of the chip. In order to validate the fabricated biochip ability to orient the pulse towards the cells flowing within the exposition channels, a frequency analysis is provided. High voltage measurements in the time domain are performed to characterize the amplitude and the shape of the nsPEF within the exposition channels and compared to numerical simulations achieved with a 3D Finite-Difference Time-Domain code. We demonstrate that the biochip is adapted for 3 ns and 10 ns pulses and that the nsPEF are homogenously applied to the biological cells regardless their position along the microfluidic channel. Furthermore, biological tests performed on the developed microfluidic biochip permit to prove its capability to permeabilize living cells with nanopulses. To the best of our knowledge, we report here the first successful use of a microfluidic device optimized for the achievement and real time observation of the nanoporation of living cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biosens Bioelectron
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology