On-chip testing device for electrochemotherapeutic effects on human breast cells
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A microfabricated cell-based testing device for electrochemotherapy (ECT) has been developed by miniaturizing the widely used clinical electroporator with a two-needle array into two-dimensional planar electrodes while keeping the similarity of the electric field strength distribution. In this device, all the biological processes from cell culture to electroporation and final cell-based assays were carried out on a chip using a conventional 2D cell culture method, and the multiple electrochemotherapeutic assays could be realized by exploiting the six electroporation sites in a single device. With the proposed platform, the electroporation rate was evaluated with propidium iodide and cell proliferation after 48 h of electrochemotherapy with bleomycin was determined with T47D human breast ductal carcinoma cell line in various electric field strengths and drug concentrations. This microsystem has several advantages over conventional cuvette type electroporation assay, such as multiple assays on a chip, on-chip based operation from cell culture to final assay, and having similar electric field distribution as that of the clinical electroporator. As the clinical trials of electrochemotherapy are being carried out, this new platform is expected to have valuable applications in basic in vitro ECT studies, drug discovery, and development of clinical ECT equipment.