The Effect of Electrical Deformation Forces on the Electropermeabilization of Erythrocyte Membranes in Low- and High-Conductivity Media

The Effect of Electrical Deformation Forces on the Electropermeabilization of Erythrocyte... Electrical breakdown of erythrocytes induces hemoglobin release which increases markedly with decreasing conductivity of the pulse medium. This effect presumably results from the transient, conductivity-dependent deformation forces (elongation or compression) on the cell caused by Maxwell stress. The deformation force is exerted on the plasma membrane of the cell, which can be viewed as a transient dipole induced by an applied DC electric field pulse. The induced dipole arises from the free charges that accumulate at the cell interfaces via the Maxwell-Wagner polarization mechanism. The polarization response of erythrocytes to a DC field pulse was estimated from the experimental data obtained by using two complementary frequency-domain techniques. The response is very rapid, due to the highly conductive cytosol. Measurements of the electrorotation and electrodeformation spectra over a wide conductivity range yielded the information and data required for the calculation of the deformation force as a function of frequency and external conductivity and for the calculation of the transient development of the deformation forces during the application of a DC-field pulse. These calculations showed that (i) electric force precedes and accompanies membrane charging (up to the breakdown voltage) and (ii) that under low-conductivity conditions, the electric stretching force contributes significantly to the enlargement of ``electroleaks'' in the plasma membrane generated by electric breakdown. The Journal of Membrane Biology Springer Journals

The Effect of Electrical Deformation Forces on the Electropermeabilization of Erythrocyte Membranes in Low- and High-Conductivity Media

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Copyright © Inc. by 1998 Springer-Verlag New York
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Human Physiology
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