The Axoporator® 800A Electroporation System, a micropipette-based molecule delivery system uses voltage pulses to cause the transient formation of membrane pores through which membrane-impermeant molecules and ions can enter the cell. The mechanism is the same as that used for the bulk electroporation of suspended cells-dielectric breakdown of the membrane by a voltage pulse. However, single-cell electroporation offers distinct advantages over bulk electroporation: Individual cells can be targeted for specific modification. Whether you're using isolated cells, tissue slice, or an intact preparation, this technique allows you to focus on an individual cell. Precise regions of the cell can be selectively targeted. Apical vs. basal, neurite vs. axon, animal vs. vegetal pole-single cell electroporation allows you to focus on very specific regions of the cell under study. Large, isolated, and intact organelles are also suitable for single-cell electroporation. Only minute compound volumes are required for electroporation. This helps preserve expensive and rare molecules. Focused electroporation ensures very high rates of surviving cells - 80% on average. Cells better tolerate the intervention because only a small portion of cell membrane is severed by the voltage-delivering micropipette. Thus a cell can be electroporated more than once, e.g., for delivery of different genes or dyes successively.
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