Nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter pulsed electric fields scramble the asymmetric arrangement of phospholipids in cell membranes without the permeabilization associated with longer, lower-field pulses. A single 30 ns, 2.5 MV/m pulse produces perturbations consistent with phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization in Jurkat T lymphoblasts within milliseconds, polarized in the direction of the applied field, indicating an immediate interaction between membrane components and the electric field. This disturbance occurs only at the anode pole of the cell, supporting the hypothesis that the pulsed field drives the negatively charged PS head group toward the positive electrode, directly providing the energy for crossing the membrane dielectric barrier.
- BAPTA, 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid
- Nanosecond pulsed electric field
- Phosphatidylserine externalization
- Phospholipid translocation
- Real-time fluorescence microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology