A quantitative study of electroporation showing a plateau in net molecular transport.
Prausnitz MR; Lau BS; Milano CD; Conner S; Langer R; Weaver JC Biophys J (A5S), 1993 Jul; 65 (1): 414-22
Electroporation is believed to involve a temporary
structural rearrangement of lipid bilayer membranes, which
results in ion and molecular transport across the membrane.
The results of a quantitative study of molecular transport
due to electroporation caused by a single exponential pulse
are presented; transport of four molecules of different
physical characteristics across erythrocyte ghost membranes
is examined as a function of applied field strength. Flow
cytometry is used to quantitatively measure the number of
molecules transported for 10(4) to 10(5) individual ghosts
for each condition. This study has four major findings: 1)
Net transport first increases with field strength, but
reaches a plateau at higher field strengths. Significant
transport is found at or below 1 kV/cm, and transport
plateaus begin at field strengths between 2 and 5 kV/cm
depending on the molecule transported. 2) A single
population of ghosts generally exists, but exhibits a wide
distribution in the amount of molecular transport. 3) Under
the conditions used, the direction of transport across the
ghost membrane does not appear to affect molecular transport
significantly. 4) Large numbers of ghosts may be destroyed
by the electroporation procedure.