Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Long-lasting plasma membrane permeabilization in mammalian cells by nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28 (8): 655-663

Aim of study (acc. to author)

This study was performed to evaluate the effects of nanosecond pulsed electric fields on membrane permeabilization of mammalian cells in vitro.

Background/further details

In a first step an experimental setup for nanosecond pulsed electric fields exposure of cell cultures using the patch-clamp technique was developed. Thereafter the cell lines were exposed to a single 60 nanosecond pulse or to multiple 60 nanoseconds pulsed electric fields in different ion milieus. 6-12 experiments were conducted per group.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1:
Modulation type: single pulse
Exposure duration: single pulse of 60 ns

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Exposure duration single pulse of 60 ns
Modulation type single pulse
Pulse width 60 ns
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • pair of tungsten electrodes with 0.125 diameter and a gap of 0.31 mm between them
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 12 kV/cm - calculated - at cell location
electric field strength 22 kV/cm minimum calculated - between electrodes
electric field strength 24 kV/cm maximum calculated - between electrodes

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Even a single 60 nanoseconds pulse at 12 kV/cm could cause a profound and long-lasting (at least 100 seconds) reduction of the cell membrane resistance, accompanied by the loss of the membrane potential. Membrane resistance decreased in all investigated cell lines except for the human cervical carcinoma cells. Its recovery could take 15 minutes. Multiple electric pulses also enhanced the cell membrane permeabilization.

Study character:

Study funded by

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