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Phase Change Electrodes for Reducing Joule Heating During Irreversible Electroporation

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher B. Arena, Marissa Nichole Rylander, Rafael V. Davalos

Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University, Blacksburg, VA

Roop L. Mahajan

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. SBC2012-80825, pp. 473-474; 2 pages
  • ASME 2012 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2012 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Fajardo, Puerto Rico, USA, June 20–23, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4480-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a non-thermal tissue ablation modality that is gaining momentum as a viable treatment option for tumors and other non-cancerous pathologies [1]. The protocol consists of delivering a series of short (∼ 100 μs) and intense (∼ 1000 V/cm) pulsed electric fields through electrodes inserted directly into or around a targeted tissue. The pulses induce a rapid buildup of charge across the plasma membrane of cells comprising the tissue that results in the creation of permanent membrane defects, ultimately leading to cell death. Because the extent of cell death relies predominately on the extent of charge buildup and not thermal processes, extracellular matrix components are spared, including major nerve and blood vessel architecture. Additionally, the ablation volume is predictable based on the electric field distribution and visible in real-time via MRI, CT, and ultrasound.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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