Automatic system for electroporation of adherent cells growing in standard multi-well plates

Summary of the technology

An electrode assembly for in vitro electroporation for adherent cells has been designed and patented by UPC and UB. The new system allows the electroporation in standard culture plates, achieving an enhanced and uniform electric field distribution across the biological sample monolayer and reducing the invasiveness of the operation. Partners to further develop the system and/or to establish commercial agreements along with technical cooperation are sought.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge

Nowadays, electroporation is a useful technique to introduce foreign impermeable material into the cell cytoplasm. Traditional in vitro equipment performs electroporation in cuvettes where cells are suspended. However, previous trypsinization process is needed when adherent cells are electroporated, causing additional stress to the cells that may affect both the electroporation efficiency and the invasiveness of the operation. In these cases, in situ electroporation is more suitable. Some microfabricated devices have been designed to apply the electric field pulses directly to the adherent cell monolayer. However, most of these devices are custom-built setups, not suitable for their direct use in standard multiwell plates and cells are in contact with the electrodes interfering its normal development.
In addition, there are no real time methods for monitoring electroporation efficiency .

The Technology

The present invention solves the above described drawbacks. An electrode assembly has been designed, able to be positioned momentarily on top of cell monolayer keeping a short distance between electrodes and cells. This setup allows to perform non contact in situ electroporation on cells growing on standard multiwell culture plates. Electric field across cell monolayer is enhanced thanks to the electrodes design. This electrode assembly can be a disposable device due to the low cost manufacturing technology (Printed Circuit Board).

Current stage of development

Validated concept on different cell lines. Successful DNA plasmid transfection.
Prototype with automatic positioning system and software.
Real time bioimpedance monitoring — in process.

Applications and Target Market

Transfection tool for research facilities. Pharmaceutical industries. Hybridoma Production – to manufacture antibodies.

Innovative advantages

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·  In situ electroporation on standard culture plates.
Microelectrodes allow the use of low voltages (

Intellectual property status

  • Granted Patent
  • Patent application number :-

Related Keywords

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Speech Processing/Technology
  • Signal Processing
  • System and transportation
  • Fuel cells
  • Other Processes
  • Biological Sciences
  • Stem cell Technologies
  • Food Processing
  • Standards
  • Other system software
  • Electronics Related Market
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • Medical Health related
  • Hydro-electric
  • Electric companies
  • cells
  • electroporation
  • automatic system
  • adherent
  • multi-well
  • plates

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

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