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Microscope Slide Electrode Chamber for Nanosecond, Megavolt-Per-Meter Biological Investigations

Y. Sun, P.T. Vernier, M. Behrend, L. Marcu and M.A. Gundersen
University of Southern California, US

Keywords: SU-8, liftoff, megavolt electric field, micorchamber, electroperturbation, microelectronic fabrication, microscopy

Abstract:
Nanosecond pulsed electric fields pass through the external membranes of biological cells (which have typical response times much greater than nanoseconds) and perturb fast-responding intracellular structures and processes. To enable real-time imaging and investigation of these phenomena, a microchamber with integral electrode walls and optical path for observing individual cells exposed to electric pulses was designed and fabricated utilizing photolithographic and microelectronic fabrication methods. SU-8 photoresist was patterned to form straight sidewalls 10 to 30 m in height, and gold was deposited on the opposing walls and the top for a conductive, non-reactive electrode surface. Results from observations with the microchamber in real-time electroperturbation imaging experiments include intracellular calcium bursts and membrane phospholipid translocation. Real-time nanoelectropulse investigations with microfabricated imaging tools open new pathways for the study and engineering of biological systems.

Nanotech 2004 Conference Technical Program Abstract

 
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