In this paper we investigate the response of photoreceptor rods from frog retina to treatment by 1 MHz ac fields followed by dc pulses. Photoreceptor rods brought in close contact by dielectrophoresis (1 MHz field frequency and 0.5-kV/cm threshold intensity) were fused or intermingled by application of dc pulses. During application of dc pulses some rod cells were damaged, releasing discs into the suspension. Discs dielectrophoresis led then to their association in pairs or clusters, which could be fused by higher pulses, resulting in vesicles of different sizes and shape patterns. Rods rotation around their long axis as well as discs elongation were observed and monitored at different field intensities. These field effects allow new insights into photoreceptor rods morphology as well as into membrane dynamics during discs formation and decay. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science S.A.
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