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Biophys J. 1999 Sep;77(3):1316-26.

A polarization model overcoming the geometric restrictions of the laplace solution for spheroidal cells: obtaining new equations for field-induced forces and transmembrane potential.

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  • 1Institut für Biologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Jan=Gimsa@rz.huberlin.de

Abstract

We present a new model for a variety of electric polarization effects on oblate and prolate homogeneous and single-shell spheroids. For homogeneous spheroids the model is identical to the Laplace model. For single-shell spheres of cell-like geometry the calculated difference of the induced dipole moments is in the thousandths range. To solve Laplace's equation for nonspherical single-shell objects it is necessary to assume a confocal shell, which results in different cell membrane properties in the pole and equator regions, respectively. Our alternative model addresses this drawback. It assumes that the disturbance of the external field due to polarization may project into the medium to a characteristic distance, the influential radius. This parameter is related to the axis ratio of the spheroid over the depolarizing factors and allows us to determine the geometry for a finite resistor-capacitor model. From this model the potential at the spheroid's surface is obtained and, consequently, the local field inside a homogeneous spheroid is determined. In the single-shell case, this is the effective local field of an equivalent homogeneous spheroid. Finally, integration over the volume yields the frequency-dependent induced dipole moment. The resistor-capacitor approach allowed us to find simple equations for the critical and characteristic frequencies, force plateaus and peak heights of deformation, dielectrophoresis and electrorotation for homogeneous and single-shell spheroids, and a more generalized equation for the induced transmembrane potential of spheroidal cells.

PMID:
10465744
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1300421
Free PMC Article
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