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Mechanism of electroinduced ionic species transport through a multilamellar lipid system.
Chizmadzhev YA; Zarnitsin VG; Weaver JC; Potts RO
Biophys J (A5S), 1995 Mar; 68 (3): 749-65

A theoretical model for electroporation of multilamellar lipid system due to a series of large electrical pulses is presented and then used to predict the functional dependence of the transport of charged molecules. Previously, electroporation has been considered only for single bilayer systems such as artificial planar bilayer membranes and cell membranes. The former have been extensively studied with respect to electrical and mechanical behavior, and the latter with respect to molecular transport. Recent experimental results for both molecular transport and electrical resistance changes in the stratum corneum (SC) suggest that electroporation also occurs in the multilamellar lipid membranes of the SC. In addition, there is the possibility that other skin structures (the "appendages") also experience electroporation. A compartment model is introduced to describe the transport of charged species across the SC, and the predicted dependence is compared with available data. In this model, the SC is assumed to contain many hydrophilic compartments in series separated by boundary bilayers, so that these compartments become connected only upon electroporation. Two limiting cases for the transport of charged molecules are considered: (1) transport along tortuous inter-bilayer pathways in each compartment, followed by transport across individual boundary bilayers due to electroporation, and (2) transport along straight-through pathways in the boundary bilayers with fast mixing in each compartment, which includes the interior space of corneocytes. Both models were fitted to the experimental data. The large electropore radius (rt approximately 200 A) and porated fractional area (ft approximately 10(-3) obtained from the fitting for the tortuous model relative to the more reasonable values obtained for the straight-through model (rs approximately 4 A, fs approximately 10(-6) suggest that the latter is a more realistic description of electroinduced transport of ionized species through the skin.