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Microfluidics systems for cell electroporation

STSM by Monica Florescu, PhD Student

Period of mission: from 18/05/2015 to 29/05/2015

Home institution: Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania

Host institution: University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

During this STSM the grantee has focused on learning about miniaturized and microfluidic devices to be used for cell electroporation. In the microfluidic devices the cells flow in a constricted channel equipped with integrated electrodes where they are exposed to high electric fields (kV/cm). These devices also allow impedance measurements before and after cell electroporation to count the cells and monitor the process of membrane permeabilization. The grantee has learnt about the different steps of the cell electroporation protocol including off-chip cell sample preparation (e.g., cell staining), injection of cell solution in a controlled way in the microchannel using dedicated equipment, delivery of pulses and on-chip detection of pores formation using (fluorescence) microscopy and impedance spectroscopy. The measurements have been conducted using different cancer cell lines, and by varying different experimental parameters. Altogether, these experiments have highlighted the power of microfluidics for cell electroporation and monitoring of the process at the single cell level.

During the STSM the grantee had free access to the bibliographic resources of the University of Twente, and more importantly she acquired practical experience with cell electroporation and microfluidic devices. This STSM has also allowed fostering collaboration between the Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania and the University of Twente, The Netherlands in the field of electroporation or biosensors and microfluidics, collaboration to be materialized in the near future as scientific application for European funding or student exchange.


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