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Process of Electroporation: Definition and Applications

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2010-08-02 21:46:33
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Article Summary: "What is Electrporation: It is the technique of molecular biology. It is very helpful in treating the diseases like cancer and heart disease..."


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Definition:-
Electroporation is the process of biotechnology to pass the electric current through the living surface fro example, a cell or a molecule. Through this way, pores appear in the surface of the living structure and biological material can pass through it easily. This method is usually used to enter the viruses or plasmids in the form of vectors or plasmids into the cell through pores in the cell membrane.

What is Electroporation:-
The technique of Electroporation is mostly used in the field of molecular biology. When this technique is applied on any cell by using electrical current from an external source, the cell membrane becomes more permeable allowing foreign objects enter into it. When the scientists have to insert a molecular probe, small piece of DNA or any drug which can change the function of the cell, they use this technique.

It is not easy to make pores in the cell membrane until it is exposed to proper electric field which can allow the plasma membrane to cross its dielectric strength. If the whole experiment is well controlled then after sometime, the pores of the plasma membrane can reseal, but during that time the molecules or foreign objects can enter the cell's cytoplasm. It is harmful for the cell if it is exposed to the electric current for long period of time. It results in the cell death or apoptosis.

Process of Electroporation is used mostly for the transformation of bacteria, plant protoplasts and yeast. Bacterial cell wall is made up of peptidoglycan and its derivatives. It has pores in its cell wall naturally, so when the plasmids have to enter into the bacterial cell, a small amount of electric current is used for this purpose just to let the plasmid enter into the bacterial cell. The whole process should be well controlled so that it can be observed that the bacterial cells can divide into new daughter cells containing the plasmids. This process is more effective than the chemical Electroporation. This process can also be used for the tissue culture cells to enter the foreign genes into the mammalian cells mainly.

How does process of Electroporation works?
Special kinds of devices are used for performing the process of Electroporation called as electroporators. This device is passed through the solution of the cell which contains usually bacteria but other call types can also be used for this purpose. The cell solution is put into the glass or plastic cuvette. A glass or plastic cuvette is a small circular tube which is specially designed to keep the samples for experiments of spectroscopic. It contains two aluminum electrodes one on each side. If the bacterial cell is used in the process of Electroporation then the suspension used must be of 50 microliters. Plasmids are placed in the suspension before the process starts and the whole suspension is inserted into the glass cuvette. The voltage is set to 240 volts in the electroporators and cuvette is placed inside the elctroporator. Before incubation, I milliliter of liquid medium is inserted into the cuvette and then incubation is started. After an hour of incubation, the whole solution is placed on the agarose gel. If the plasmid solution id pure then there are chances of getting better results of the experiment, otherwise bacterial cells might die due to the over explosion and process might be started once again.

Applications:-
Electroporation process of Electroporation is applicable in the field of medicine to treat the cancer and heart diseases by inserting new genes into the cancerous cell. Some other diseases can also be cured with the help of Electroporation in which there is need of tissue removal.

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