Pore dynamics in lipid membranes
1 Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2 Matières et Systèmes Complexes, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 75013, France
Received: 30 June 2014
Revised: 21 July 2014
Published online: 22 September 2014
Transient circular pores can open in plasma membrane of cells due to mechanical stress, and failure to repair such pores lead to cell death. Similar pores in the form of defects also exist among smectic membranes, such as in myelin sheaths or mitochondrial membranes. The formation and growth of membrane defects are associated with diseases, for example multiple sclerosis. A deeper understanding of membrane pore dynamics can provide a more refined picture of membrane integrity-related disease development, and possibly also treatment options and strategies. Pore dynamics is also of great importance regarding healthcare applications such as drug delivery, gene or as recently been implied, cancer therapy. The dynamics of pores significantly differ in stacks which are confined in 2D compared to those in cells or vesicles. In this short review, we will summarize the dynamics of different types of pores that can be observed in biological membranes, which include circular transient, fusion and hemi-fusion pores. We will dedicate a section to floral and fractal pores which were discovered a few years ago and have highly peculiar characteristics. Finally, we will discuss the repair mechanisms of large area pores in conjunction with the current cell membrane repair hypotheses.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2014