Electroporation as a mechanism of the saturation of transmembrane potential induced by large electric fields
Experimental studies have shown that the magnitude of a shock-induced transmembrane potential increases only slightly with any increase in the strength of the electric field above approximately 7 V/cm. In this study, computer simulations of both passive and active fibers are used to test the hypothesis that this saturation of transmembrane potential is due to electroporation. A passive fiber model with an electroporating membrane reproduced the experimental data with a root mean square error (rmse) of 7.63% and a correlation coefficient (ccf) of 0.9980. An active model with Luo-Rudy kinetics and an electroporating membrane yielded results with a rmse of 22.5% and a ccf of 0.9983. Both simulations were in good qualitative and quantitative agreement with the experimental data, supporting the idea that the development of current-carrying pores is an important factor in the saturation of transmembrane potential during exposure to large electric fields.