The early Dirac proposal to model the electron as a charged membrane is reviewed. A rigidity term, instead of the natural membrane tension, involving linearly the extrinsic curvature of the worldvolume swept out by the membrane is considered in the action modeling the bubble in the presence of an electromagnetic field. We set up this model as a genuine second-order derivative theory by considering a non-trivial boundary term which plays a relevant part in our formulation. The Lagrangian in question is linear in the bubble acceleration and by means of the Ostrogradski-Hamiltonian approach, we observed that the theory comprises the management of both first- and second-class constraints. We thus show that our second-order approach is robust allowing for a proper quantization. We found an effective quantum potential which permits us to compute bounded states for the system. We comment on the possibility of describing brane world universes by invoking this kind of second-order correction terms. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.