Microfluidics cell electroporation
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Electroporation or electropermeabilization is one of the most powerful biological techniques in cell studies. Applying the high voltage electric field in vicinity of the cells can generate nanopores in cell membrane. Varying with the intensity and the duration of these applied electric field, the created nanopores can be temporary (reversible electroporation) or permanent (irreversible electroporation). Reversible electroporation is usually conducted to insert biological samples into the cells. Cells are also electroporated irreversibly to release their intercellular contents for further biological investigations. In comparison with the conventional electroporation devices, microfluidic (microscale) electroporation devices have some advantages such as higher cell viability rate, high transfection efficiency, lower sample contamination, and smaller Joule heating effect. In this article, the latest advancement in microfluidic cell electroporation is reviewed. First, the underlying theory of membrane permeabilization is reviewed and the leading analytical studies on the cell electroporation are presented. Following that, different experimental methods are compared. Finally, some suggestions are proposed for the future studies.