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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Imprimer: 0278-940X
ISSN En ligne: 1943-619X

Volumes:
Volume 47, 2019 Volume 46, 2018 Volume 45, 2017 Volume 44, 2016 Volume 43, 2015 Volume 42, 2014 Volume 41, 2013 Volume 40, 2012 Volume 39, 2011 Volume 38, 2010 Volume 37, 2009 Volume 36, 2008 Volume 35, 2007 Volume 34, 2006 Volume 33, 2005 Volume 32, 2004 Volume 31, 2003 Volume 30, 2002 Volume 29, 2001 Volume 28, 2000 Volume 27, 1999 Volume 26, 1998 Volume 25, 1997 Volume 24, 1996 Volume 23, 1995

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v38.i3.20
pages 255-304

Bioelectric Effects of Intense Ultrashort Pulses

Ravi P. Joshi
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, USA
K. H. Schoenbach
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, USA

RÉSUMÉ

Models for electric field interactions with biological cells predict that pulses with durations shorter than the charging time of the outer membrane can affect intracellular structures. Experimental studies in which human cells were exposed to pulsed electric fields of up to 300 kV/cm amplitude, with durations as short as 10 ns, have confirmed this hypothesis. The observed effects include the breaching of intracellular granule membranes without permanent damage to the cell membrane, abrupt rises in intracellular free calcium levels, enhanced expression of genes, cytochrome c release, and electroporation for gene transfer and drug delivery. At increased electric fields, the application of nanosecond pulses induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in biological cells, an effect that has been shown to reduce the growth of tumors. Possible applications of the intracellular electroeffects are enhancing gene delivery to the nucleus, controlling cell functions that depend on calcium release (causing cell immobilization), and treating tumors. Such nanosecond electrical pulses have been shown to successfully treat melanoma tumors by using needle arrays as pulse delivery systems. Reducing the pulse duration of intense electric field pulses even further into the subnanosecond range will allow for the use of wideband antennas to deliver the electromagnetic fields into tissue with a spatial resolution in the centimeter range. This review carefully examines the above concepts, provides a theoretical basis, and modeling results based on both continuum approaches and atomistic molecular dynamics methods. Relevant experimental data are also presented, and some of the many potential bioengineering applications discussed.


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