Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 1999 Sep;77(3):1213-24.

Modeling electroporation in a single cell. I. Effects Of field strength and rest potential.

Author information

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Center for Emerging Cardiovascular Technologies, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0281 USA.


This study develops a model for a single cell electroporated by an external electric field and uses it to investigate the effects of shock strength and rest potential on the transmembrane potential V(m) and pore density N around the cell. As compared to the induced potential predicted by resistive-capacitive theory, the model of electroporation predicts a smaller magnitude of V(m) throughout the cell. Both V(m) and N are symmetric about the equator with the same value at both poles of the cell. Larger shocks do not increase the maximum magnitude of V(m) because more pores form to shunt the excess stimulus current across the membrane. In addition, the value of the rest potential does not affect V(m) around the cell because the electroporation current is several orders of magnitude larger than the ionic current that supports the rest potential. Once the field is removed, the shock-induced V(m) discharges within 2 micros, but the pores persist in the membrane for several seconds. Complete resealing to preshock conditions requires approximately 20 s. These results agree qualitatively and quantitatively with the experimental data reported by Kinosita and coworkers for unfertilized sea urchin eggs exposed to large electric fields.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center