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J Biomed Opt. 2006 Mar-Apr;11(2):024010.

Fluorescence microscopy imaging of electroperturbation in mammalian cells.

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  • 1University of Southern California, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Los Angeles, California, USA.


We report the design, integration, and validation of a fluorescence microscopy system for imaging of electroperturbation--the effects of nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter pulsed electric fields on biological cells and tissues. Such effects have potential applications in cancer therapy, gene regulation, and biophysical research by noninvasively disrupting intracellular compartments and inducing apoptosis in malignant cells. As the primary observing platform, an epifluorescence microscope integrating a nanosecond high-voltage pulser and a micrometer electrode chamber enable in situ imaging of the intracellular processes triggered by high electric fields. Using specific fluorescence molecular probes, the dynamic biological responses of Jurkat T lymphocytes to nanosecond electric pulses (nanoelectropulses) are studied with this system, including calcium bursts, the polarized translocation of phosphatidylserine (PS), and nuclear enlargement and chromatin/DNA structural changes.

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