Electric-field-induced electroporation and permeation of reactive oxygen species across a skin membrane
Electroporation processes affect the permeability of cell membranes, which can be utilized for the delivery of plasma species in cancer therapy. By means of computational dynamics, many aspects of membrane electroporation have been unveiled at the atomic level for lipid membranes. Herein, a molecular dynamics simulation study was performed on native and oxidized membrane systems with transversal electric fields. The simulation result shows that the applied electric field mainly affects the membrane properties so that electroporation takes place and these pores are lined by hydrophilic headgroups of the lipid components. The calculated hydrophobic thickness, lateral diffusion and pair correlation revealed the role of 5α-CH in creation of water-pore in an oxidized membrane. Additionally, the permeability of reactive oxygen species was examined through these electroporated systems. The permeability study suggested that water pores in the membrane facilitate the penetration of these species across the membrane to the interior of the cell. These findings may have significance in experimental applications in vivo as once the reactive oxygen species reaches the interior of the cell, they may cause oxidative stress and induce apoptosis.
Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma