Document Type: Original Paper
Ph.D. Student, Medical Physics Dept., Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Associate professor, Medical Physics Dept., Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Professor, Medical Genetics Dept., Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Associate Professor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Post doc student, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Professor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Introduction: Electroporation is a technique for increasing the permeability of the cell membrane to
otherwise non-permeate molecules due to an external electric field. This permeability enhancement is
detectable if the induced transmembrane voltage becomes greater than a critical value which depends on the
pulse strength threshold. In this study, the variability of the electric field threshold and the minimal
transmembrane voltage resulting in detectable electroporation of the plasma membrane of spherical and
irregularly shaped cells have been investigated.
Materials and Methods: Spherical cells of different dimensions and attached cells of various shapes were
selected. The chosen cells were exposed to 100 0s electric pulses with incrementing amplitudes.
Electroporation was detected by an increase in the fluorescence caused by an influx of Ca 2+ and the threshold
electric field for each cell was recorded. A 3D geometrical model of each cell was constructed from its cross
sectional images. Simulation using the finite element method was performed to obtain the critical induced
transmembrane voltage for each individual cell.
Results: The magnitudes of the electric field strength threshold and critical transmembrane voltage versus
cell radius were obtained for spherical cells. To investigate the effects of cell shapes and orientations on the
field strength threshold and critical voltage, the considered attached cells were categorized into three different
groups. Field strength threshold and critical voltage was obtained for each cells and the results for the
different groups were compared.
Discussion and Conclusion: Size, shape and orientation of cells affect the critical transmembrane voltage
and all these elements in turn influence the electric field threshold and, therefore, the efficiency of