Regeneration and control of human fibroblast cell density by intermittently delivered pulsed electric fields

Alexander Golberg, Marianna Bei, Robert L. Sheridan, Martin L. Yarmush*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Proliferative scarring is a human disease with neither available effective treatment nor relevant animal model. One of the hypotheses for scar formation involves deregulation of fibroblast signaling and delayed apoptosis. Here, we introduce a new chemical-free method for fibroblast density control in culture by intermittently delivered pulsed electric fields (IDPEF), which cause irreversible damage to cell membranes. Using 5-100 pulses with electric field strength of 150V/mm, pulse duration 70μs, and frequency of 1Hz, we investigated the effects of PEF application on growth, death, and regeneration of normal human dermal fibroblasts in culture. We found that the fraction of fibroblasts that survive depends on the number of pulses applied and follows a Weibull distribution. We have successfully developed an IDPEF protocol that controls fibroblasts density in culture. Specifically, through application of IDPEF every 72h for 12 days, we maintain a normal human dermal fibroblast density in the 3.1±0.2×105-1.4±0.2×105cell/mL range. Our results suggest that IDPEFs may prove useful as a non-chemical method for fibroblast density control in human wound healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1768
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Volume110
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cell density control
  • Fibroblasts
  • Intermittently delivered pulsed electric fields
  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Proliferative scarring

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