Cell Membrane Electropulsation: Chemical Analysis of Cell Membrane Modifications and Associated Transport Mechanisms
The transport of substances across the cell membrane is complex because the main physiological role of the membrane is the control of the substances that would enter or exit the cells. Life would not be possible without this control. Cell electropulsation corresponds to the delivery of electric pulses to the cells and comprises cell electroporation and cell electropermeabilization. Cell electropulsation allows for the transport of non-permeant molecules across the membrane, bypassing the physiological limitations. In this chapter we discuss the changes occurring in the cell membrane during electroporation or electropermeabilization as they allow to understand which molecules can be transported as well as when and how their transport can occur. Electrophoretic or diffusive transports across the cell membrane can be distinguished. This understanding has a clear impact on the choice of the electrical parameters to be applied to the cells as well as on other aspects of the experimental protocols that have to be set to load the cells with non-permeant molecules.
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