DNA-membrane complex formation during electroporation is DNA size-dependent

Shaurya Sachdev, Sara Feijoo Moreira, Yasmine Keehnen, Lea Rems, Michiel T. Kreutzer, Pouyan E. Boukany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Size of DNA molecules governs their interaction with the cell membrane during electroporation and their subsequent transport inside the cell. In order to investigate the effect of DNA size on DNA-membrane interaction during electroporation, cells are electro-pulsed with DNA molecules; 15 bp, 25 bp, 50 bp, 100 bp and 1000 bp (bp = base pairs). Within the experimental parameter space, DNA-membrane complexes or DNA aggregates are observed at the cell membrane for DNA molecules containing 25 or more base pairs. No aggregates are observed for DNA molecules containing 15 bp. For all DNA sizes, direct access to the cytoplasm is observed, however the amount translocated decays with the size. The observed dependency of DNA aggregate formation on the size of the DNA molecules is consistent with the Onsager's theory of condensation of anisotropic rod-like molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183089
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • DNA aggregation
  • DNA size
  • DNA-membrane complex formation
  • Electropermeabilization
  • Electroporation
  • Gene electrotransfer

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