Field stimulation of cells in suspension: use of a hybrid finite element method.
Electric fields are used in a range of applications, including gene transfection, electrochemotherapy of tumors and cardiac defibrillation. Despite the widespread use of electric fields, most of the theoretical and computational studies on discrete cellular tissue have focused on a single cell. In this work, we propose a hybrid finite element method to simulate the effects of external electric fields on clusters of excitable cells. The method can be used to model cells of arbitrary cell geometries and non-linear membrane dynamics. The results show that the response of multiple cell, like a single cell, is a two-stage process consisting of the initial polarization that proceeds with cellular time constant (less than one microsecond) and the actual excitation of the cell membrane that proceeds with the membrane time constant (on the order of milliseconds). The results also show that the stimulation of a given cell depends in part on the arrangement of cells within the field and not simply the location within the field, suggesting that classical approaches that ignores the effect of the cells on the field do not adequately predict the cellular response.
Ying, W; Pourtaheri, N; Henriquez, CS
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