Variable Membrane Dielectric Polarization Characteristic in Individual Live Cells

Insu Park, Jong Won Lim, Sung Hoon Kim, Seungyeop Choi, Kwan Hwi Ko, Myung Gu Son, Woo Jin Chang, Young Ro Yoon, Sejung Yang, Jaehong Key, Yoon Suk Kim, Kilho Eom, Rashid Bashir, Sei Young Lee, Sang Woo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigation of the dielectric properties of cell membranes plays an important role in understanding the biological activities that sustain cellular life and realize cellular functionalities. Herein, the variable dielectric polarization characteristics of cell membranes are reported. In controlling the dielectric polarization of a cell using dielectrophoresis force spectroscopy, different cellular crossover frequencies were observed by modulating both the direction and sweep rate of the frequency. The crossover frequencies were used for the extraction of the variable capacitance, which is involved in the dielectric polarization across the cell membranes. In addition, this variable phenomenon was investigated by examining cells whose membranes were cholesterol-depleted with methyl-β-cyclodextrin, which verified a strong correlation between the variable dielectric polarization characteristics and membrane composition changes. This study presented the dielectric polarization properties in live cells' membranes that can be modified by the regulation of external stimuli and provided a powerful platform to explore cellular membrane dielectric polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7197-7203
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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