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Microscale Thermo-Fluid Lab Vesicle Electrodeformation

Study of the deformation dynamics of cells and other sub-micron vesicles, such as virus and neurotransmitter vesicles are necessary to understand their functional properties. This mechanical characterization can be done by submerging the vesicle in a fluid medium and deforming it with a controlled electric field, which is known as electrodeformation. Electrodeformation of biological and artificial lipid vesicles is directly influenced by the vesicle and surrounding media properties and geometric factors [1]. The problem is compounded when the vesicle is naturally charged, which creates electrophoretic forcing on the vesicle membrane. We studied the electrodeformation and transport of charged vesicles immersed in a fluid media under the influence of a DC electric field. The electric field and fluid-solid interactions are modeled using a hybrid immersed interface-immersed boundary technique. Model results are verified with experimental observations for electric field driven translocation of a virus through a nanopore sensor. Our modeling results show interesting changes in deformation behavior with changing electrical properties of the vesicle and the surrounding media. Vesicle movement due to electrophoresis can also be characterized by the change in local conductivity, which can serve as a potential sensing mechanism for electrodeformation experiments in solid-state nanopore setups [2].

  1. Morshed, A., Dutta, P., Hossan, M.R., and Dillon, R., 2018, “Electrodeformation of Vesicles Suspended in a Liquid Medium”, Physical Review Fluids, 3(10), 103702.
  2. Morshed, A., Kim, M.J., and Dutta, P., 2019, Electrophoretic Transport and Dynamic Deformation of Bio-vesicles, Electrophoresis, (In-Press).