Elsevier

Available online 11 February 2020, 183213

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes

Highlights

Hypotheses about the molecular mechanism involved in picosecond bipolar cancellation

Molecular mechanism of electroporation induced by symmetrical bipolar picosecond pulse trains

Conditions required for symmetrical bipolar picosecond pulse trains to induce electroporation

Abstract

Picosecond pulse trains (psPTs) are emerging as a new characteristic diagnostic and therapeutic tool in biomedical fields. To specifically determine the stimulus provided to cells, in this article, we use a molecular dynamics (MD) model to show the molecular mechanisms of electroporation induced by symmetrical bipolar psPTs and predict a bipolar cancellation for the studied picosecond pulses. Electric field conditions that do not cause electroporation reveal that the interfacial water molecules continuously flip and redirect as the applied bipolar psPT reverses, and the molecules cannot keep moving in one direction or leave the lipid-water interface. Based on our simulation results, we determine the threshold for electroporation with symmetrical bipolar psPTs. For a fixed electric field intensity, a lower repetition frequency leads to more rapid electroporation. For a fixed repetition frequency, a higher electric field intensity leads to more rapid electroporation. We found that the water dipole relaxation time decreases as the electric field magnitude increases. Additionally, the influences of the symmetrical bipolar psPT intensity and frequency on the pore formation time are presented. Discrete nanoscale pores can form with the applied psPT at terahertz (THz) repetition frequency. When the psPT amplitude increases or the frequency decreases, the number of water bridges will increase. Moreover, for the first time, the molecular mechanism of bipolar cancellation for the studied picosecond pulse is discussed preliminarily. Our results indicate that the influence of the unipolar picosecond pulse on the interfacial water dipoles will accumulate in one direction, but the bipolar picosecond pulse does not cause this effect.

Keywords

Electroporation

Molecular dynamics

Picosecond bipolar cancellation

Symmetrical bipolar picosecond pulse trains

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