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Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 204;

Electro-Deformation of Fused Cells in a Microfluidic Array Device

Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Chongqing University, Ministry of Education, and Key Laboratory of Vision Loss, Regeneration and Restoration, Chongqing, Bioengineering College, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400030, China
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
College of Biomedical Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
Chongqing Jinshan Science & Technology (Group) Co., Ltd., Chongqing 401120, China
Department of Information, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
These authors contributed equally in this study.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiangchun Xuan and Shizhi Qian
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics)
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We present a new method of analyzing the deformability of fused cells in a microfluidic array device. Electrical stresses—generated by applying voltages (4–20 V) across discrete co-planar microelectrodes along the side walls of a microfluidic channel—have been used to electro-deform fused and unfused stem cells. Under an electro-deformation force induced by applying an alternating current (AC) signal, we observed significant electro-deformation phenomena. The experimental results show that the fused stem cells were stiffer than the unfused stem cells at a relatively low voltage (<16 V). However, at a relatively high voltage, the fused stem cells were more easily deformed than were the unfused stem cells. In addition, the electro-deformation process is modeled based on the Maxwell stress tensor and structural mechanics of cells. The theoretical results show that a positive correlation is found between the deformation of the cell and the applied voltage, which is consistent with the experimental results. Combined with a numerical analysis and experimental study, the results showed that the significant difference of the deformation ratio of the fused and unfused cells is not due to their size difference. This demonstrates that some other properties of cell membranes (such as the membrane structure) were also changed in the electrofusion process, in addition to the size modification of that process. View Full-Text
Keywords: electro-deformation; microfluidic; fused cell; mechanical properties electro-deformation; microfluidic; fused cell; mechanical properties

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Liu, Y.; Zhang, X.; Chen, M.; Yin, D.; Yang, Z.; Chen, X.; Wang, Z.; Xu, J.; Li, Y.; Qiu, J.; Hu, N.; Yang, J. Electro-Deformation of Fused Cells in a Microfluidic Array Device. Micromachines 2016, 7, 204.

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