A nonlinear electroporation (EP) model is proposed to study the electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during EP, by taking the nonlinear large deformation of the membrane into account. The proposed model predicts the critical transmembrane potential and the activation energy for EP, the equilibrium pore size, and the resealing process of the pore. Single-cell EP experiments using a micro EP chip were conducted on chicken red blood cells at different temperatures to determine the activation energy and the critical transmembrane potential for EP. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.