We previously demonstrated the feasibility of electroporating single cells using an elastomeric device with small (3x4 ìm) lateral trapping/electroporation channels. Single cell electroporation increases the cell membrane's permeability, allowing polar substances otherwise impermeant to the plasma membrane (such as dyes, drugs, DNA, proteins, peptides, and amino acids) to be thus introduced into the cell. Single cell electroporation techniques, pioneered by Lundqvist et al using carbon fiber electrodes, include: electrolyte-filled capillaries, micropipettes and microfabricated chips. Our approach differs from these in that we can selectively immobilize, and locally and reversibly electroporate single cells with less than 1 V. This approach eliminates the need to manipulate electrodes or glass pipettes. Moreover, this device allows parallel single cell electroporation. Most notably, the electroporated cell can be simultaneously monitored electrically (via impedance measurements) and optically (via fluorescence detection), enabling multiplexing for high content screening.
Project end date: 01/06/06