, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 1239-1250
Date: 04 Aug 2009

Electrical characterization of a single cell electroporation biochip with the 2-D scanning vibrating electrode technology

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Advancements in microfabrication technology have lead to the development of planar micro-pore electroporation technology. This technology has been shown to provide greater control in single cell manipulation, and electroporation which is independent from cell size. In this work we report direct and spatially resolved characterization of electric currents within a planar micropore electroporation biochip to better understand this phenomenon at the cellular level. This work was performed using a two-dimensional (2-D) vibrating probe (VP). Analysis of the spatial patterns of current density yielded a 4th order polynomial profile in the planes parallel to the biochip’s surface and a three parameter hyperbolic decay profile in the planes perpendicular to the chip surface. A finite element model was developed which correlates with actual measurements on the micropore. Preliminary VP current density measurements of electroporated HepG2 cells revealed a significantly high current density minutes after electroporation even with non-electroporative pulses. These results indicate that cells take a considerable amount of time for complete electrophysiological recovery and indicate the use of the VP as a cell viability indicator for optimized electroporation.