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Journal of Membrane Biology










We investigated the effects of nanosecond pulse electric fields (nsPEFs) on Jurkat and PANC1 cells, which are human carcinoma cell lines, in the presence of Tween 80 (T80) at a concentration of 0.18% and demonstarted an enhanced killing effect. We used two biological assays to determine cell viability after exposing cells to nsPEFs in the presence of T80 and observed a significant increase in the killing effect of nsPEFs. We did not see a toxic effect of T80 when cells were exposed to surfactant alone. However, we saw a synergistic effect when cells exposed to T80 were combined with the nsPEFs. Increasing the time of exposure for up to 8 h in T80 led to a significant decrease in cell viability when nsPEFs were applied to cells compared to control cells. We also observed cell type-specific swelling in the presence of T80. We suggest that T80 acts as an adjuvant in facilitating the effects of nsPEFs on the cell membrane; however, the limitations of the viability assays were addressed. We conclude that T80 may increase the fragility of the cell membrane, which makes it more susceptible to nsPEF-mediated killing.


NOTE: This is the final author’s version (post-print) of a work that was published in Journal of Membrane Biology. The final version was published as:

Basu, G., Kalluri, B.S., Sabuncu, A.C., Osgood, C.J., & Stacey, M.W. (2012). Enhanced killing effect of nanosecond pulse electric fields on PANC1 and Jurkat cell lines in the presence of Tween 80. Journal of Membrane Biology, 245(10), 611-616. doi: 10.1007/s00232-012-9472-0

The final publication is available at Springer via