Assessing membrane material properties from the response of giant unilamellar vesicles to electric fields

Mina Aleksanyan, Hammad A. Faizi, Maria Anna Kirmpaki, Petia M. Vlahovska, Karin A. Riske, Rumiana Dimova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Knowledge of the material properties of membranes is crucial to understanding cell viability and physiology. A number of methods have been developed to probe membranes in vitro, utilizing the response of minimal biomimetic membrane models to an external perturbation. In this review, we focus on techniques employing giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), model membrane systems, often referred to as minimal artificial cells because of the potential they offer to mimick certain cellular features. When exposed to electric fields, GUV deformation, dynamic response and poration can be used to deduce properties such as bending rigidity, pore edge tension, membrane capacitance, surface shear viscosity, excess area and membrane stability. We present a succinct overview of these techniques, which require only simple instrumentation, available in many labs, as well as reasonably facile experimental implementation and analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2125342
JournalAdvances in Physics: X
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • bending rigidity
  • membrane capacitance
  • Membrane electroporation
  • membrane surface shear viscosity
  • pore edge tension
  • vesicle electrodeformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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