Effect of pulse width on the dynamics of a deflated vesicle in unipolar and bipolar pulsed electric fields

Giant unilamellar vesicles subjected to pulsed direct-current (pulsed-DC) fields are promising biomimetic systems to investigate the electroporation of cells. In strong electric fields, vesicles undergo significant deformation, which strongly alters the transmembrane potential, consequently the electroporation. Previous theoretical studies investigated the electrodeformation of vesicles in DC fields (which are not pulsed). In this work, we computationally investigate the deformation of a deflated vesicle under unipolar, bipolar, and two-step unipolar pulses and show sensitive dependence of intermediate shapes on type of pulse and the pulse width. Starting with the stress-free initial shape of a deflated vesicle, which is similar to a prolate spheroid, the analysis is presented for the cases with higher and lower conductivities of the inner fluid medium relative to the outer fluid medium. For the ratio of inner to outer fluid conductivity, σ r = 10, the shape always remains prolate, including when the field is turned off. For σ r = 0.1, several complex dynamics are observed, such as the prolate-to-oblate (PO), prolate-to-oblate-to-prolate (POP) shape transitions in time depending upon the strength of the field and the pulse properties. In this case, on turning off the field, a metastable oblate equilibrium shape is seen, that seems to be a characteristics of a deflated vesicle leading to POPO transitions. When a two-step unipolar pulse (a combination of a strong and a weak subpulse) is applied, a vesicle can reach an oblate or a prolate final shape depending upon the relative durations of the two subpulses. This study suggests that the transmembrane potential can be regulated using a bipolar pulsed-DC field. It also shows that the shapes admitted in the dynamics of a vesicle depends upon whether the pulse is unipolar or bipolar. Parameters are suggested wherein, the simulation results can be demonstrated in experiments.

Sudip Das, Marc Jaeger, Marc Leonetti, Rochish M. Thaokar, Paul G. Chen. Effect of pulse width on the dynamics of a deflated vesicle in unipolar and bipolar pulsed electric fields. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 2021, 33 (8), pp.081905. ⟨10.1063/5.0057168⟩. ⟨hal-03317441⟩

Journal: Physics of Fluids

Date de publication: 01-08-2021

  • Sudip Das
  • Marc Jaeger
  • Marc Leonetti
  • Rochish M. Thaokar
  • Paul G. Chen

Digital object identifier (doi): http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0057168

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