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IEEE Trans Nanobioscience. 2010 Sep;9(3):204-12. doi: 10.1109/TNB.2010.2050599.

Influence of uncertain electrical properties on the conditions for the onset of electroporation in an eukaryotic cell.

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Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo 1, Fisciano (SA), I-84084, Italy.


A detailed numerical investigation concerning the influence on the electrical response of an eukaryotic cell model due to the variations of the conductivity and permittivity of the plasma and nuclear membranes is carried out by means of a vertex analysis. The dynamics of three cell performances, the voltages across the external and the nuclear membrane, and the pores density are analyzed by adopting a novel FEM-based model coupled with the nonlinear equation describing the electroporation (EP) phenomenon. The variations of the electrical and morphological performances, when the cell is stressed by a nonideal step input, are studied in three interesting regimes, i.e., at the nominal threshold for the onset of EP, and when the applied stress is over or under the EP threshold. The performed numerical analysis puts in evidence that, around the nominal EP threshold, uncertainties may lead to an indeterminate state of the plasma membrane, whereas the other two regimes remain well definite.

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