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FEM analysis of carbon nanotube induced cell poration under electric field

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4 Author(s)
Dun Liu ; Insititute for Medical Science and Technology, University of Dundee, UK ; Zhigang Wang ; Lijun Wang ; Alfred Cuschieri

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are promising nanomaterials for biomedical applications in view of their excellent mechanical, chemical and electrical properties. Recently, CNTs have been used as electroporation agents because they are able to reduce significantly the required electroporation field. However, mechanism of CNT mediated electroporation enhancement is not fully understood. In this finite element method (FEM) modeling study, an electrokinetic-induced force and mechanical motion of a CNT and CNT-cell membrane in a fluid domain under an applied electric field were investigated. Based on dielectrophoresis (DEP) theory, force induced on the CNT tip was calculated, and then cell membrane displacement under this force was simulated. Our results suggest that dielectrophoretic force induced on the tip of carbon nanotubes is able to achieve rapid cell membrane deformation, which may explain the observed enhancement of cell electroporation.

Published in:

2010 3rd International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Informatics  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

16-18 Oct. 2010