An electric potential difference across the plasma membrane is common to all living cells and is essential to physiological functions such as the generation of action potentials for cell-to-cell communication. While the basics of cell electrical activity are well established (e.g. the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the action potential), the reciprocal coupling of voltage and membrane deformation has received limited attention. In recent years, studies of biomimetic membranes in externally applied electric fields have revealed a plethora of intriguing dynamics (formation of edges, pearling, and phase separation) that challenge the current understanding of membrane electromechanics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics