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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jul;1838(7):1793-800. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2014.03.010. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

Evaluations of a mechanistic hypothesis for the influence of extracellular ions on electroporation due to high-intensity, nanosecond pulsing.

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Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas, 2415 Speedway, C4500, Austin, TX 78712, United States.
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Frank Reidy Center for Bio-Electrics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0246, United States. Electronic address:


The effect of ions present in the extracellular medium on electroporation by high-intensity, short-duration pulsing is studied through molecular dynamic simulations. Our simulation results indicate that mobile ions in the medium might play a role in creating stronger local electric fields across membranes that then reinforce and strengthen electroporation. Much faster pore formation is predicted in higher conductivity media. However, the impact of extracellular conductivity on cellular inflows, which depend on transport processes such as electrophoresis, could be different as discussed here. Our simulation results also show that interactions between cations (Na(+) in this case) and the carbonyl oxygen of the lipid headgroups could impede pore resealing.


Electric pulsing; Ions; Lipid; Molecular dynamics; Nanopore

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