Micro and nano technologies are of increasing importance in microfluidics devices used for electroporation (electroporation – the permeabilization of the cell membrane with brief high electric field pulses). Electrochemical reactions of electrolysis occur whenever an electric current flows between an electrode and an ionic solution. It can have substantial detrimental effects, both on the cells and solutions during the electroporation. As electrolysis is a surface phenomenon, between electrodes and solution, the extent of electrolysis is increased in micro and nano electroporation over macro-electroporation, because the surface area of the electrodes in micro and nano electroporation is much larger. A possible way to eliminate the electrolytic effect is to develop non-electrolytic microelectroporation by coating the microelectroporation devices with a dielectric insulating layer. In this study, we examine the effect of a dielectric insulating layer on the performance of a singularity microelectroporation device that we have recently designed. Using numerical analysis, we study the effects of various design parameters including, input sinusoidal voltage amplitude and frequency, geometrical configuration and material electrical properties on the electroporation performance of the non-electrolytic microelectroporation device. In the simulation, we used properties of four real dielectric materials and four solutions of interest for microelectroporation. We characterized the effect of various design parameters of relevance to singularity based microelectroporation, on non-electrolytic microelectroporation. Interestingly, we found that the system behaves in some aspects as a filter and in many circumstances saturation of performance is reached. After saturation is reached, changes in parameters will not affect the performance of the device.
Chenang Lyu, Jianping Wang, Boris Rubinsky