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107433 9 (12 pp.)




The permeabilized condition of the cell membrane after electroporation can last minutes but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Previous studies suggest that lipid peroxidation could be responsible for the lasting leaky state of the membrane. The present study aims to link oxidation within the plasma membrane of live cells to permeabilization by electric pulses. We have introduced a method for the detection of oxidation by ratiometric fluorescence measurements of BODIPY-C11 dye using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, limiting the signal to the cell membrane. CHO-K1 cells were cultured on glass coverslips coated with an electroconductive indium tin oxide (ITO) layer, which enabled electroporation with micro- and submicrosecond pulses. No oxidation was observed with the electric field directed towards the ITO (cathode), even at field strengths much higher than that needed for permeabilization. Oxidation was readily detectable with the opposite polarity of pulses, but with the threshold higher than the permeabilization threshold. Moreover, a decrease in the medium conductance had opposite effects on permeabilization and lipid oxidation (it enhanced the former and suppressed the latter). We conclude that lipid oxidation can indeed occur at the plasma membrane after electric pulses, but it is not the cause of lasting membrane permeabilization.


Ó 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Original Publication Citation

Michel, O., Pakhomov, A. G., Casciola, M., Saczko, J., Kulbacka, J., & Pakhomova, O. N. (2019). Electropermeabilization does not correlate with plasma membrane lipid oxidation. Bioelectrochemistry, 132, 107433. doi:


0000-0003-3816-3860 (Pakhomov), 0000-0003-4950-4130 (Pakhomova)