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Membrane electroporation: The absolute rate equation and nanosecond time scale pore creation
Zlatko Vasilkoski, Axel T. Esser, T. R. Gowrishankar, and James C. Weaver
Phys Rev E 74, 021904, 2006

The recent applications of nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter electric field pulses to biological systems show striking cellular and subcellular electric field induced effects and revive the interest in the biophysical mechanism of electroporation. We first show that the absolute rate theory, with experimentally based parameter input, is consistent with membrane pore creation on a nanosecond time scale. Secondly we use a Smoluchowski equation-based model to formulate a self-consistent theoretical approach. The analysis is carried out for a planar cell membrane patch exposed to a 10 ns trapezoidal pulse with 1.5 ns rise and fall times. Results demonstrate reversible supra-electroporation behavior in terms of transmembrane voltage, pore density, membrane conductance, fractional aqueous area, pore distribution and average pore radius. We further motivate and justify the use of Krassowska's asymptotic electroporation model for analyzing nanosecond pulses, showing that pore creation dominates the electrical response and that pore expansion is a negligible effect on this time scale.

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