3D printed micro-electro-fluidic probe (MeFP) for single cell electroporation

Ayoola Brimmo, Anoop Menachery, Mohammad A. Qasaimeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work presents the development of a micro-electro-fluidic probe (MeFP) platform as an affordable and flexible microfluidic tool for the transfection of single cells via electroporation. The platform constitutes of a 3D printed MeFP - gold-coated microfluidic probe (MFP) with an array of pin shaped microelectrodes integrated on its tip - and an ITO coated cell culture substrate. This setup, and submicron feature size of the MeFP, allows for a selective exposure of the targeted cell to both the electric field and hydrodynamic flow confinement (HFC) of an intercalating agent, to demonstrate transmembrane molecule delivery through electroporation. Results show successful transfer of propidium iodide (PI) through the membranes of single HeLa cells with an applied DC rectangular pulse- a proof-of-concept for MeFP's application in delivering nucleic acids into eukaryotic cells (transfection). By adjusting the size of the HFC (varying injection and aspiration flow ratio), we show that the cell target area can be dynamically increased from the single cell footprint, to cover multiple cells. Finite Element model show that even with such low applied voltages (0.5- 3Vpk-pk), the electric field generated reach the reversible electroporation threshold. These results demonstrate the MeFP as an advancement to the currently available transfection technologies for gene therapy; delivery of DNA vaccines, in vitro fertilization, cancer treatment, regenerative medicine, and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVII
EditorsBonnie L. Gray, Holger Becker
ISBN (Electronic)9781510623927
StatePublished - 2019
EventMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVII 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2019Feb 4 2019

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVII 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • 3D printing
  • Electrical simulation
  • Electroporation
  • Microfluidic
  • Probe
  • Single cell
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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