In electroporation, the charging of the cell membrane due to an applied electric field is followed by a localized structural rearrangement of the membrane, which consequently creates pores or aqueous pathways that perforate the membrane. A tremendous increase in ionic and molecular transport through the membrane occurs because of the presence of these aqueous pores. As part of a comprehensive study on the effects of temperature on electroporation of cells, we have designed a micro device capable of integrating single cells into an electronic circuit while controlling the temperature. In the present work, we have studied the effect of temperature on the electroporation of Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells (MDCK) with a micro-electroporation device. It was found that the critical voltage for electropermeabilization was strongly dependent on temperature, increasing by a factor of 2 with decreasing temperature from 37 to 5 °C. Data shows there is a correlation among the viscoelastic properties of the cell membrane and the temperature.

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