Transient electrical field across cellular membranes - pulsed electric field treatment of microbial cells

I. Timoshkin, S.J. MacGregor, R.A. Fouracre, B.H. Crichton, J.G. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment of liquid and pumpable products contaminated with microorganisms has attracted significant interest from the pulsed power and bioscience research communities particularly because the inactivation mechanism is non-thermal, thereby allowing retention of the original nutritional and flavour characteristics of the product. Although the biological effects of PEF have been studied for several decades, the physical mechanisms of the interaction of the fields with microorganisms is still not fully understood. The present work is a study of the dynamics of the electrical field both in a PEF treatment chamber with dielectric barriers and in the plasma (cell) membrane of a microbial cell. It is shown that the transient process can be divided into three physical phases, and models for these phases are proposed and briefly discussed. The complete dynamics of the time development of the electric field in a spherical dielectric shell representing the cellular membrane is then obtained using an analytical solution of the Ohmic conduction problem. It was found that the field in the membrane reaches a maximum value that could be two orders of magnitude higher than the original Laplacian electrical field in the chamber, and this value was attained in a time comparable to the field relaxation time in the chamber. Thus, the optimal duration of the field during PEF treatment should be equal to such a time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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Cells
Electric fields
membranes
Membranes
electric fields
cells
chambers
microorganisms
Cell membranes
Microorganisms
biological effects
Flavors
products
deactivation
Relaxation time
relaxation time
conduction
Liquids
liquids
interactions

Keywords

  • applied physics
  • electric field
  • plasma
  • pulsed electric field
  • microbial cells

Cite this

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title = "Transient electrical field across cellular membranes - pulsed electric field treatment of microbial cells",
abstract = "The pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment of liquid and pumpable products contaminated with microorganisms has attracted significant interest from the pulsed power and bioscience research communities particularly because the inactivation mechanism is non-thermal, thereby allowing retention of the original nutritional and flavour characteristics of the product. Although the biological effects of PEF have been studied for several decades, the physical mechanisms of the interaction of the fields with microorganisms is still not fully understood. The present work is a study of the dynamics of the electrical field both in a PEF treatment chamber with dielectric barriers and in the plasma (cell) membrane of a microbial cell. It is shown that the transient process can be divided into three physical phases, and models for these phases are proposed and briefly discussed. The complete dynamics of the time development of the electric field in a spherical dielectric shell representing the cellular membrane is then obtained using an analytical solution of the Ohmic conduction problem. It was found that the field in the membrane reaches a maximum value that could be two orders of magnitude higher than the original Laplacian electrical field in the chamber, and this value was attained in a time comparable to the field relaxation time in the chamber. Thus, the optimal duration of the field during PEF treatment should be equal to such a time.",
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author = "I. Timoshkin and S.J. MacGregor and R.A. Fouracre and B.H. Crichton and J.G. Anderson",
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Transient electrical field across cellular membranes - pulsed electric field treatment of microbial cells. / Timoshkin, I.; MacGregor, S.J.; Fouracre, R.A.; Crichton, B.H.; Anderson, J.G.

In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2006, p. 596-603.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Transient electrical field across cellular membranes - pulsed electric field treatment of microbial cells

AU - Timoshkin, I.

AU - MacGregor, S.J.

AU - Fouracre, R.A.

AU - Crichton, B.H.

AU - Anderson, J.G.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

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AB - The pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment of liquid and pumpable products contaminated with microorganisms has attracted significant interest from the pulsed power and bioscience research communities particularly because the inactivation mechanism is non-thermal, thereby allowing retention of the original nutritional and flavour characteristics of the product. Although the biological effects of PEF have been studied for several decades, the physical mechanisms of the interaction of the fields with microorganisms is still not fully understood. The present work is a study of the dynamics of the electrical field both in a PEF treatment chamber with dielectric barriers and in the plasma (cell) membrane of a microbial cell. It is shown that the transient process can be divided into three physical phases, and models for these phases are proposed and briefly discussed. The complete dynamics of the time development of the electric field in a spherical dielectric shell representing the cellular membrane is then obtained using an analytical solution of the Ohmic conduction problem. It was found that the field in the membrane reaches a maximum value that could be two orders of magnitude higher than the original Laplacian electrical field in the chamber, and this value was attained in a time comparable to the field relaxation time in the chamber. Thus, the optimal duration of the field during PEF treatment should be equal to such a time.

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