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Technical Briefs

A Preliminary Study to Delineate Irreversible Electroporation From Thermal Damage Using the Arrhenius Equation

[+] Author and Article Information
Hadi Shafiee

Bioelectromechanical Systems Laboratory, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Paulo A. Garcia

Bioelectromechanical Systems Laboratory, School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES), Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Rafael V. Davalos1

Bioelectromechanical Systems Laboratory, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061; School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES), Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University, Blacksburg, VA 24061davalos@vt.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 131(7), 074509 (Jun 12, 2009) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3143027 History: Received September 04, 2008; Revised April 25, 2009; Published June 12, 2009

Intense but short electrical fields can increase the permeability of the cell membrane in a process referred to as electroporation. Reversible electroporation has become an important tool in biotechnology and medicine. The various applications of reversible electroporation require cells to survive the procedure, and therefore the occurrence of irreversible electroporation (IRE), following which cells die, is obviously undesirable. However, for the past few years, IRE has begun to emerge as an important minimally invasive nonthermal ablation technique in its own right as a method to treat tumors and arrhythmogenic regions in the heart. IRE had been studied primarily to define the upper limit of electrical parameters that induce reversible electroporation. Thus, the delineation of IRE from thermal damage due to Joule heating has not been thoroughly investigated. The goal of this study was to express the upper bound of IRE (onset of thermal damage) theoretically as a function of physical properties and electrical pulse parameters. Electrical pulses were applied to THP-1 human monocyte cells, and the percentage of irreversibly electroporated (dead) cells in the sample was quantified. We also determined the upper bound of IRE (onset of thermal damage) through a theoretical calculation that takes into account the physical properties of the sample and the electric pulse characteristics. Our experimental results were achieved below the theoretical curve for the onset of thermal damage. These results confirm that the region to induce IRE without thermal damage is substantial. We believe that our new theoretical analysis will allow researchers to optimize IRE parameters without inducing deleterious thermal effects.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Thermal damage delineation from the area of potential irreversible electroporation as a function of the IRE electrical pulse parameters (magnitude and duration) for (a) cells suspended in PBS and (b) tissue. Ω=0.53 represents the onset of thermal damage and Ω=10,000 represents a third-degree burn injury in skin (31-32). Note that the onset of electroporation is not depicted.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

(a) Temperature profile and (b) the function Ψ(tp,E) versus time for Ω=0.53 (onset of thermal damage) and Ω=10,000 (third-degree burn injury) (31-32). The thermal damage magnitude, Ω, is the area under the Ψ(tp,E) curve (Eq. 7).

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Theoretical onset of thermal damage curve, Ω=0.53 (upper limit of IRE) as a function of the IRE electrical pulse parameters (magnitude and duration) for cells suspended in PBS and tissue. The pulse parameters for the in vitro experiments were chosen to prevent thermal damage and the corresponding percentage of THP-1 cell death (K) is represented by circle, triangle, and squares.

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