Effects of Exogenous Electromagnetic Fields on a Simplified Ion Channel Model

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In this paper, we calculate the effect of an exogenous perturbation (an electromagnetic field [EMF] oscillating in the range of microwave frequencies in the range of 1 GHz) on the flux of two ion species through a cylindrical ion channel, implementing a continuous model, the Poisson–Smoluchowski system of equations, to study the dynamics of charged particle density inside the channel. The method was validated through comparison with Brownian dynamics simulations, supposed to be more accurate but computationally more demanding, obtaining a very good agreement. No EMF effects were observed for low field intensities below the level for thermal effects, as the highly viscous regime and the simplicity of the channel do not exhibit resonance phenomena. For high intensities of the external field (>105 V/m), we observed slightly different behavior of ion concentration oscillations and ion currents as a function of EMF orientation with respect to the channel axis.

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