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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 1999 Jan 4;35(1):3-19.

Electropermeabilization of cell membranes.

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  • 1IPBS UPR 9062 CNRS, 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France

Abstract

A position dependent modulation of the membrane potential difference is induced when an electric field is applied to a cell. When cells are submitted to short lived electric field pulses with an overcritical intensity, a local membrane alteration is induced, which may reseal. Its molecular definition remains unknown. A free exchange of hydrophilic molecules takes place across the membrane. A leakage of cytosolic metabolites is present. However, a loading of polar drugs into the cytoplasm is obtained. A short description of the processes affecting the cell membrane organization is given. Lipids appear as the primary target of the field effect as in the case of liposomes. Nevertheless membrane proteins appear to be affected by a direct or by a back effect. The permeabilized state is long lived. The cell metabolism plays indeed a critical role in the recovery. The cell viability can be nevertheless preserved.

PMID:
10837686
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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