Transport of charged small molecules after electropermeabilization - drift and diffusion.
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BMC biophysics, ISSN: 2046-1682, Vol: 11, Issue: 1, Page: 4
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- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Electropermeabilization; YO-PRO-1; Propidium; Calcein; Small molecule transport; Diffusion; Drift; Electrodiffusion; Membrane transport; Biomechanics and Biotransport; Biophysics
Applications of electric-field-induced permeabilization of cells range from cancer therapy to wastewater treatment. A unified understanding of the underlying mechanisms of membrane electropermeabilization, however, has not been achieved. Protocols are empirical, and models are descriptive rather than predictive, which hampers the optimization and expansion of electroporation-based technologies. A common feature of existing models is the assumption that the permeabilized membrane is passive, and that transport through it is entirely diffusive. To demonstrate the necessity to go beyond that assumption, we present here a quantitative analysis of the post-permeabilization transport of three small molecules commonly used in electroporation research - YO-PRO-1, propidium, and calcein - after exposure of cells to minimally perturbing, 6 ns electric pulses.