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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Oct 12;362(1):139-44. Epub 2007 Aug 7.

Ultrashort electric pulse induced changes in cellular dielectric properties.

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  • 1Bioelectromagnetism Laboratory, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The interaction of nanosecond duration pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) with biological cells, and the models describing this behavior, depend critically on the electrical properties of the cells being pulsed. Here, we used time domain dielectric spectroscopy to measure the dielectric properties of Jurkat cells, a malignant human T-cell line, before and after exposure to five 10ns, 150kV/cm electrical pulses. The cytoplasm and nucleoplasm conductivities decreased dramatically following pulsing, corresponding to previously observed rises in cell suspension conductivity. This suggests that electropermeabilization occurred, resulting in ion transport from the cell's interior to the exterior. A delayed decrease in cell membrane conductivity after the nsPEFs possibly suggests long-term ion channel damage or use dependence due to repeated membrane charging and discharging. This data could be used in models describing the phenomena at work.

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