Le Dr. Thomas Vernier, actuellement associate professor au Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California (USA), présentera une conférence dans le cadre du cycle de séminaires XLIM intitulée « Biomolecular Electrosurgery: Restructuring the Membrane “In the Twinkling of an Eye” », le Vendredi 30 Novembre en salle de Conférences XLIM, sur le site de la faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Limoges.
Biological cell membranes can be electropermeabilized by exposure to pulsed electric fields. This phenomenon – called electroporation — can be used to disrupt the integrity of the cell membrane in a reversible or irreversible way. Electroporation is widely used in biotechnology and in biomedical applications such as cancer therapy and genetic engineering. Recently, cell membrane-related effects from nanosecond, high-voltage electric pulses with electric field strengths of MV/m have been reported. Nanosecond electric pulses permeabilize intracellular organelles as well as the plasma membrane. One particular effect is the initiation of apoptosis, which is currently being studied as a promising tool for cancer therapy. We describe some of the molecular details of this transformation, which takes place on a time scale of nanoseconds, including the pore creation and annihilation sequence, the role of interfacial water as the engine of lipid nanopore formation, the pore-facilitated loss of membrane asymmetry, and the extraction of values for the ion conductance of lipid electropores.