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Plasma membrane characterization, by scanning electron microscopy, of multipotent myoblasts-derived populations sorted using dielectrophoresis

Journal article
Authors Massimo Muratore
Steve Mitchell
Martin Waterfall
Published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume 438
Pages 666-672
ISSN 0006291X
Publication year 2013
Published at
Pages 666-672
Language en
Keywords Dielectrophoresis, Multipotent cells, Plasma membrane capacitance
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Medical Engineering


Multipotent progenitor cells have shown promise for use in biomedical applications and regenerative medicine. The implementation of such cells for clinical application requires a synchronized, phenotypically and/or genotypically, homogenous cell population. Here we have demonstrated the implementation of a biological tag-free dielectrophoretic device used for discrimination of multipotent myoblastic C2C12 model. The multipotent capabilities in differentiation, for these cells, diminishes with higher passage number, so for cultures above 70 passages only a small percentage of cells is able to differentiate into terminal myotubes. In this work we demonstrated that we could recover, above 96% purity, specific cell types from a mixed population of cells at high passage number without any biological tag using dielectrophoresis. The purity of the samples was confirmed by cytometric analysis using the cell specific marker embryonic myosin. To further investigate the dielectric properties of the cell plasma membrane we co-culture C2C12 with similar size, when in suspension, GFP-positive fibroblast as feeder layer. The level of separation between the cell types was above 98% purity which was confirmed by flow cytometry. These levels of separation are assumed to account for cell size and for the plasma membrane morphological differences between C2C12 and fibroblast unrelated to the stages of the cell cycle which was assessed by immunofluorescence staining. Plasma membrane conformational differences were further confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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