Ion drive for vesicles and cells

P. E. Lammert, J. Prost, R. Bruinsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Non-uniform ion pumping across the bounding membrane of a biological cell or artificial vesicle can generate electro-osmotic effects. Self-propulsion of cells at speeds of up to several microns per second is possible. Viscous stresses are generated that lead to significant distortion for a membrane lacking considerable reinforcement by, for example, a cytoskeleton, even if immobilized by adhesion to a substrate. A relation between magnitudes of self-induced effects and the measured electrophoretic mobility is shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 21 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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