The estimation of pore size distribution of electroporated MCF-7 cell membrane

EŞMEKAYA M. A., Gürsoy G., Coşkun A.

Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15368378.2024.2366272
  • Journal Name: Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Compendex, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: atomic force microscopy, electropermeabilization, Electroporation, human breast cancer cell, pore formation, scanning electron microscopy
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The size of the pores created by external electrical pulses is important for molecule delivery into the cell. The size of pores and their distribution on the cell membrane determine the efficiency of molecule transport into the cell. There are very few studies visualizing the presence of electropores. In this study, we aimed to investigate the size distribution of electropores that were created by high intensity and short duration electrical pulses on MCF-7 cell membrane. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to visualize and characterize the membrane pores created by the external electric field. Structural changes on the surface of the electroporated cell membrane was observed by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The size distribution of pore sizes was obtained by measuring the radius of 500 electropores. SEM imaging showed non-uniform patterning. The average radius of the electropores was 12 nm, 51.60% of pores were distributed within the range of 5 to 10 nm, and 81% of pores had radius below 15 nm. These results showed that microsecond (µs) high intensity electrical pulses cause the creation of heterogeneous nanopores on the cell membrane.