In chapter 1, the aim of the thesis is briefly presented, and a short description content of the chapters is provided. Chapter 2 introduces the process of electroporation, the technique widely employed to engineer cells and introduced therein foreign materials, with the help of an electrical treatment. In particular, the most accepted theory to explain the process of pore formation process, the so-called transient aqueous pore model, is presented. The limitations of both the technique and conventional set-ups are also discussed: its low success rate, and the need to employ high-voltage sources. Potential approaches to remediate this are finally proposed. Firstly, microfluidic systems can be used instead of conventional mL-capacity set-ups to enhance both the control on the electroporation process and its yield, while employing milder electrical conditions. Alternatively, the knowledge on the process of pore formation can be increased, using for instance planar models of cell membranes. These two approaches of miniaturization and experimentation on membrane models are subsequently applied in the next chapters of this thesis. The following 5 chapters focus on the second approach and concern the use of planar models of cell membranes, or bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs), to gain a better understanding on the process of pore formation.
|Award date||22 Oct 2010|
|Place of Publication||Zutphen|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Oct 2010|