Microfabricated devices for cell lysis have demonstrated many advantages over conventional approaches. Among various design of microdevices that employ electroporation for cytolysis, most utilize Ag/AgCl wires or 2D planar electrodes. Although, simple in fabrication the electric field generated by 2D electrodes decays exponentially, resulting in rather non-uniform forcing on the cell membrane. This paper investigates the effect of electric field generated by 3D cylindrical electrodes to perform cell lysis via electroporation in a microfluidic platform, and compared with that by 2D design. Computational results of the electric field for both 2D and 3D electrode geometries showed that the 3D configuration demonstrated a significantly higher effective volume ratio-volume which electric field is sufficient for cell lysis to that of net throughflow volume. Hence, the efficacy of performing cell lysis is substantially greater for cells passing through 3D than 2D electrodes. Experimentally, simultaneous multi-pores were observed on leukocytes lysed with 3D electrodes, which is indicative of enhanced uniformity of the electric field generated by 3D design. Additionally, a single row of 3D electrode demonstrated a substantially higher lysing percentage (30%) than that of 2D (8%) under that same flow condition. This work should aid in the design of electrodes in performing cell lysis via electroporation.
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