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Ultrashort pulsed electric fields induce membrane phospholipid translocation and caspase activation: differential sensitivities of Jurkat T lymphoblasts and rat glioma C6 cells

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5 Author(s)
Vernier, P.T. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng.- Electrophys., Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Aimin Li ; Marcu, Laura ; Craft, C.M.
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Megavolt-per-meter electric pulses with durations shorter than charging time constants associated with external cell membrane dielectric properties can generate significant voltages on the membranes of intracellular structures. Nanosecond-duration, high-field (2-4 MV/m) pulses are not immediately lethal to cells and do not produce the conductive openings in the cytoplasmic membrane associated with long-pulse, low-field electroporation, but can induce profound physiological changes, including apoptosis (programmed cell death). We demonstrate rapid, non-destructive, field-dependent translocation of the plasma membrane inner leaflet phospholipid phosphatidylserine in Jurkat T lymphocytes, and we show that cells which exhibit a similar geometry in suspension, rat glioma C6 cells, are highly resistant to these pulses and respond differently even to much higher doses.

Published in:

Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2003

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