Effect of cell size and shape on single-cell electroporation
Journal article, 2007
Single-cell electroporation was performed using electrolyte-filled capillaries on fluorescently labeled A549 cells. Cells were exposed to brief pulses (50-300 ms) at various cell-capillary tip distances. Cell viability and electroporation success were measured. In order to understand the variability in single-cell electroporation, logistic regression was used to determine whether the probabilities of cell survival and electroporation depend on experimental conditions and cell properties. Both experimental conditions and cell properties (size and shape) have a significant effect on the outcome. Finite element simulations were used to compare bulk electroporation to single-cell electroporation in terms of cell size and shape. Cells are more readily permeabilized and are more likely to survive if they are large and hemispherical as opposed to small and ellipsoidal with a high aspect ratio. The dependence of the maximum transmembrane potential across the cell membrane on cell size is much weaker than it is for bulk electroporation. Observed survival probabilities are related to the calculated fraction of the cell's surface area that is electroporated. Observed success of electroporation is related to the maximum transmembrane potential achieved.