The charges in live cells interact with or produce electric fields, which results in enormous dielectric responses, flexoelectricity, and related phenomena. Here we report on a contraction of Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast) cells induced by magnetic fields, as observed using a phase-sensitive projection imaging technique. Unlike electric fields, magnetic fields only act on moving charges. The observed behavior is therefore quite remarkable, and may result from a contractile Lorentz force acting on diamagnetic screening currents. This would indicate extremely high intracellular charge mobilities. Besides, we observed a large electro-optic response from fission yeast cells.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.