Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields Trigger Intracellular Signals in Human Lymphocytes
P.T. Vernier, Y. Sun, L. Marcu, C.M. Craft and M.A. Gundersen
University of Southern California, US
Keywords: nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter, calcium burst, electroperturbation, phosphatidylserine translocation
We present evidence for a new technological approach to signaling and triggering of intracellular events in biological cells. Remotely applied nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter, pulsed electric fields perturb the intracellular environment, causing calcium release, phosphatidylserine externalization, and apoptosis. This technology does not require direct electrical contacts to biological material. Ultra-short pulses with durations less than the charging time constant of the plasma membrane generate voltages across structures in the cell interior, enabling intracellular manipulations with stimuli that are remotely generated and controlled. The work reported here suggests possibilities within the reach of state-of-the-art bioelectrical engineering and nanotechnology for utilizing nanopulse-triggered intracellular electroperturbations in remote bio-systems deployed as reporters and effectors, and for other applications such as wound healing.
Nanotech 2004 Conference Technical Program Abstract