Impact of pulsed electric fields on Corynebacterium glutamicum cell membrane permeabilization

Theodora Tryfona, Mark T. Bustard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The permeability barrier of the microbial cell envelope for substrates and products often causes very low reaction rates of whole cells. Therefore, it is of interest to develop an effective method to reduce this permeability barrier in order to increase product yields. Utilisation of pulse electric fields may improve amino acid release from Corynebacterium glutamicum by up to several orders of magnitude. In particular pulsed electric fields may change the cell/membrane's dielectric properties and induce the release of intracellular metabolites. In this study the parameters for successful electropermeabilization were determined and the viabilities of treated cells were examined. We also found that pulse treated cells not only maintained their viabilities but also their ability to reproduce, post-pulse treatment. Since electropermeabilized cells could maintain both their viabilities and ability to reproduce, we believe that this preliminary data may contribute to the optimization of fermentative production of amino acids and bioprocess enhancement through electropermeabilization and may be beneficial to industrial bioprocesses. © 2008 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • amino acid production
  • bioprocess intensification
  • cell electropermeabilization
  • cell membrane
  • cell viability
  • pulsed electric fields


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