Membrane microextension: A possible mechanism for establishing molecular contact in electrofusion

Subrata Biswas, Sujoy K. Guha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


True cell membrane contact is an essential condition for electro-pulsed cell fusion, but initial morphological perturbation leading to true contact is still not clear. Dielectrophoresis mediated compression and fusogenic pulse induced compaction of cells led to rapid merger of tight membranes, and deprived direct microscopic view of surface membrane perturbation. Freely suspending cells with large and different cell-cell gaps may proceed to electrofusion with perturbed membrane and initiates fusion events at different time. These pulsed exposed cells can be used for capturing changes in the membrane surface and early electrofusion events. Early stage of fusion of freely suspended intact human erythrocytes exposed to single exponential decay pulse was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Field pulse induces small membrane bumps. Interaction of bumps on adjacent membranes lead to true membrane contact and form bridges between the membranes as microextension, combining both membranes into a topologically single structure. Some fusion products showed expanded fusion zones, which suggest indication of open lumen at contact area. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science S.A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalBioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Electrofusion
  • Membrane bump
  • Membrane contact
  • Membrane microextension
  • Morphological perturbation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry


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