Palalle G. Tharushi Perera1, Olha Bazaka2, Kateryna Bazaka3, Dominique Appadoo4, Rodney J. Croft5, Russell J. Crawford2, Elena P. Ivanova2*
1Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Vic 3122, Australia
2School of Science, RMIT University, PO Box 2476, Melbourne, Vic 3001, Australia
3Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434. Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
4THz/Far-Infrared Beamline, Australian Synchrotron, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia
5School of Psychology, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Pheochromocytoma PC 12 cell line is an established model system for neurosecretion and neuronal differentiation, particular to study cellular responses to nerve growth factors (NGF) and how these lead to expression of differentiation-specific proteins and differentiation. More recently, PC 12 has become a model system for investigating cell membrane permeabilization and cell attachment on different substrata. Of particular interest is the use of PC 12 to study the fundamental responses of cells to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of 18 GHz and THz in the range of 0.3-19.5×1012 Hz, a type of radiation treatment shown to induce membrane depolarization and transient increase in permeability with no changes in cell viability, morphology, proliferation and cellular physiology. This makes EMFs of 18 GHz and THz radiation a promising alternative to conventional poration techniques for drug and gene delivery applications. This article will review recent progress in the use of PC 12 to investigate EMF radiation-induced cell membrane permeability, as well as to study mammalian cell attachment preferences and differentiation on polymer surfaces, including those coated with high molecular weight proteins of the extracellular matrix, e.g. laminins, poly-l-lysine, fibronectin, and on novel metallic surfaces of nanostructured titanium.