Electrofusion of cells : development of a fusion apparatus and a protocol for cell fusion
Design and construction of an apparatus to provide signal sources for electrofusion of cells is described. Experiments were performed with the apparatus on mammalian human cells and plant protoplasts to derive the best protocols to achieve alignment and fusion. Four versions of the apparatus were constructed with modifications being determined by both the results of the cell experiments and electronic experiments on circuit design. The protocols to be followed to achieve fusion of cells in different media were confirmed by experiment, and the signal on the cell was mathematically analysed. Using the results of this analysis, an improved protocol was produced for achievement of cell fusion in binary or multiple cell clusters in various suspension media, by manipulation of electrical signals. Suggestions are made for circuit construction using new integrated circuit elements and microcontrollers, with machine operation and information logging being directed by a personal computer.