[Cell-biology] Re: permeabilize living cells

joeosborne via cellbiol%40net.bio.net (by joeosborne)
Tue May 27 17:47:00 EST 2008

i have read research that pulsed electric fileds at certain frequencies
transiently cause cancer cells to become porous
thus enabling increased delivery of chemotherapeutic agents into the cell

the pulse by itself as used on living tissue isn't designed to kill the
cells it just induces them to open channels through which substrates will

search "electroporation cell membrane" at

on the internet there is a video of a news clip of the principle being used
to treat a man
for melanoma on his foot

it's not a chemical reagent but it does make them permeable

as far as chemicals go you are on the right track with surfactants - i
also have come across "saponins" which will do the same thing

search "saponin permeable cell membrane" at

there are some books that talk in detail about plant saponins in this regard
on google books

i have read plant saponins are used to make nanoparticles for drug delivery
of chemo drugs too

perhaps they facilitate penetration of the drug conjugate through the cell

----- Original Message -----
From: "assa sittner" <sittner from lkb.ens.fr>
Newsgroups: bionet.cellbiol
To: <cellbiol from magpie.bio.indiana.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:27 PM
Subject: permeabilize living cells

> Hi there,
> I am looking for a reagent that would allow me to weakly permeabilize, or
> just weaken cell membranes in a living cell culture, without killing them,
> in order to facilitate microinjection.
> does anyone know such a reagent (most likely a mild surfactant)?
> cheers,
> t

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