Equilibrium electrodeformation of a spheroidal vesicle in an ac electric field

H. Nganguia, Y. N. Young

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Abstract

In this work, we develop a theoretical model to explain the equilibrium spheroidal deformation of a giant unilamellar vesicle (GUV) under an alternating (ac) electric field. Suspended in a leaky dielectric fluid, the vesicle membrane is modeled as a thin capacitive spheroidal shell. The equilibrium vesicle shape results from the balance between mechanical forces from the viscous fluid, the restoring elastic membrane forces, and the externally imposed electric forces. Our spheroidal model predicts a deformation-dependent transmembrane potential, and is able to capture large deformation of a vesicle under an electric field. A detailed comparison against both experiments and small-deformation (quasispherical) theory showed that the spheroidal model gives better agreement with experiments in terms of the dependence on fluid conductivity ratio, permittivity ratio, vesicle size, electric field strength, and frequency. The spheroidal model also allows for an asymptotic analysis on the crossover frequency where the equilibrium vesicle shape crosses over between prolate and oblate shapes. Comparisons show that the spheroidal model gives better agreement with experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052718
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume88
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 25 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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