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Scientific Reports








The present study compared electroporation efficiency of bipolar and unipolar nanosecond electric field oscillations (NEFO). Bipolar NEFO was a damped sine wave with 140 ns first phase duration at 50% height; the peak amplitude of phases 2-4 decreased to 35%, 12%, and 7% of the first phase. This waveform was rectified to produce unipolar NEFO by cutting off phases 2 and 4. Membrane permeabilization was quantified in CHO and GH3 cells by uptake of a membrane integrity marker dye YO-PRO-1 (YP) and by the membrane conductance increase measured by patch clamp. For treatments with 1-20 unipolar NEFO, at 9.6-24 kV/cm, 10 Hz, the rate and amount of YP uptake were consistently 2-3-fold higher than after bipolar NEFO treatments, despite delivering less energy. However, the threshold amplitude was about 7 kV/cm for both NEFO waveforms. A single 14.4 kV/cm unipolar NEFO caused a 1.5-2 times greater increase in membrane conductance (p < 0.05) than bipolar NEFO, along with a longer and less frequent recovery. The lower efficiency of bipolar NEFO was preserved in Ca2+ free conditions and thus cannot be explained by the reversal of electrophoretic flows of Ca2+. Instead, the data indicate that the electric field polarity reversals reduced the pore yield.

Original Publication Citation

Gianulis, E.C., Lee, J., Jiang, C.Q., Xiao, S., Ibey, B.L., & Pakhomov, A.G. (2015). Electroporation of mammalian cells by nanosecond electric field oscillations and its inhibition by the electric field reversal. Scientific Reports, 5, 1-10. doi: 10.1038/srep13818