Recent reports indicate that nanoparticle (NP) clusters near cell membranes could enhance local electric fields, leading to heightened electroporation. This aspect is quantitatively analyzed through numerical simulations whereby time dependent transmembrane potentials are first obtained on the basis of a distributed circuit mode, and the results then used to calculate pore distributions from continuum Smoluchowski theory. For completeness, both monopolar and bipolar nanosecond-range pulse responses are presented and discussed. Our results show strong increases in TMP with the presence of multiple NP clusters and demonstrate that enhanced poration could be possible even over sites far away from the poles at the short pulsing regime. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that nonuniform distributions would work to enable poration at regions far away from the poles. The NP clusters could thus act as distributed electrodes. Our results were roughly in line with recent experimental observations.

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  • Received 20 October 2020
  • Revised 29 December 2020
  • Accepted 15 January 2021

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Biological Physics

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