Biophysical chemistry

Fibrillar disruption by AC electric field induced oscillation: A case study with human serum albumin.

PMID 28437684


The effect of oscillation induced by a frequency-dependent alternating current (AC) electric field to dissociate preformed amyloid fibrils has been investigated. An electrowetting-on-dielectric type setup has been used to apply the AC field of varying frequencies on preformed fibrils of human serum albumin (HSA). The disintegration potency has been monitored by a combination of spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. The experimental results suggest that the frequency of the applied AC field plays a crucial role in the disruption of preformed HSA fibrils. The extent of stress generated inside the droplet due to the application of the AC field at different frequencies has been monitored as a function of the input frequency of the applied AC voltage. This has been accomplished by assessing the morphology deformation of the oscillating HSA fibril droplets. The shape deformation of the oscillating droplets is characterized using image analysis by measuring the dynamic changes in the shape dependent parameters such as contact angle and droplet footprint radius and the amplitude. It is suggested that the cumulative effects of the stress generated inside the HSA fibril droplets due to the shape deformation induced hydrodynamic flows and the torque induced by the intrinsic electric dipoles of protein due to their continuous periodic realignment in presence of the AC electric field results in the destruction of the fibrillar species.