Publish Date: 14.11.2012

Category: News from the University

Lecture by the Honourable Senator prof dr. Lluis M. Miro is organized on Tuesday, 20 November at 6 p.m. in Zbornična dvorana, University of Ljubljana, Kongresni trg 12. The lecture is given within the framework of the  French-Slovenian European Associated Laboratory: Pulsed Electric Fields Applications in Biology and Medicine - LEA EBAM. The working language is English.

Unifying the concepts of cell electroporation and cell electropermeabilization

Electroporation and electropermeabilization were two concepts developed to explain the short and long terms effects caused pulses on the cell membranes by the exposure of living cells to short an intense electric pulses. The concept of membrane electroporation was in agreement with the atomistic descriptions performed using molecular dynamics simulations and could explain short terms effects from a physicochemical point of view, but this concept was not convincing to explain a large number of biological observations. On the other hand electropermeabilization was lacking of physicochemical bases and of a molecular description. All in all, the bases of the effects caused by the delivery of electric pulses to cells were largely unexplained.
Recent experiments with lipid vesicles seem to confirm that pores exist, that pores have a very short half-life and that nevertheless a memory effect exists, even in the case of these very simple objects.
We have explored the causes of this memory and we bring a mechanism which has been developed using electrical engineering, chemical and biological concepts and experiments. We show that the electric pulses delivery to membranes and to cells actually results in both their electroporation and electropermeabilization.