Asymmetric Conduction in Biological Nanopores: Model Based Inference of Membrane Charge

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Abstract

Ultrashort, high-intensity electric pulses have been reported to open rectifying pores in biological cell membranes. The present goal is to qualitatively understand and analyze the experimental current-voltage (I-V) data. Nanopore transport is probed using a numerical method and on the basis of an analytical model. The typical channel length of ~5 nm is orders of magnitude smaller than those that typically apply to synthetic nanopores. Our results show that geometric asymmetry in the nanopore, would not yield asymmetry in the I-V characteristics. However, positive surface charge lining the pore could produce numerical characteristics that compare well with data from patch-clamp measurements. Some reports in the literature on asymmetric nanopore currents seem to conclude that no observable rectification can occur at short channel lengths and that long pores (on the order of microns) are indispensable1. Our analyses negates the need for long pores. Curve fitting to experimental patch-cl
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Dec 2015

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