Mechanism of Membrane Electroporation and Vesicle Deformation

  • Sergej Kakorin
  • Eberhard Neumann


Membrane electroporation (ME) defines an electrical technique to render lipid membranes porous and permeable, transiently and reversibly, by external voltage pulses. The „electro-deformation“ of lipid vesicles is possibly a mechanism to provide larger pores leading to transmembrane transport or causing membrane rupture. Recently, electrochemical relaxation data have provided evidence that ME of a vesicle suspension is rapidly coupled with vesicle elongation. Thus the electroporative changes in the membrane structure are optically enhanced by the vesicle deformation and can be recognized in the very early stages by electrooptics. In the meantime there are numerous applications of ME to manipulate cells, organelles and tissues in medicine2, cell biology and biotechnology3, yet the exact molecular mechanism of ME is not well understood, even very controversial. We propose a general chemical-thermodynamical approach to the quantitative description of cell membrane electroporation.


Vesicle Suspension Pore Edge Condenser Plate Lipid Bilayer Vesicle Pore Formation Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergej Kakorin
    • 1
  • Eberhard Neumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ChemistryUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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