Electrode microchamber for noninvasive perturbation of mammalian cells with nanosecond pulsed electric fields

Yinghua Sun, P. Thomas Vernier, Matthew Behrend, Laura Marcu, Martin A. Gundersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Nanosecond pulsed electric fields can pass through the external membrane of biological cells and disturb fast-responding intracellular structures and processes. To enable real-time imaging and investigation of these phenomena, a microchamber with integral electrodes and optical path for observing individual cells exposed to ultrashort electric pulses was designed and fabricated utilizing photolithographic and microelectronic methods. SU-8 photoresist was patterned to form straight sidewalls from 10 to 30 μm in height, with gold film deposited on the top and sidewalls for conductive, nonreactive electrodes and a uniform electric field. Channel dimensions (10-30 μm × 100 μm × 12000 μm) are suitable for observations of mammalian cells during nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter pulsed electric field exposure. Experimental studies utilizing the electrode microchamber include live-cell imaging of nanoelectropulse-induced intracellular calcium bursts and membrane phospholipid translocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Electrode chamber
  • Electroperturbation
  • Electroporation
  • Responses of malignant cells to nanosecond electrical pulses
  • SU-8 photoresist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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