, Volume 236, Issue 1, pp 1-2
Date: 24 Jul 2010

Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments

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When a cell is exposed to a sufficiently large electric field, even for a very short time, its plasma membrane is changed so that molecules that normally cross the membrane only in minute amounts can more readily pass through the barrier. This phenomenon was first described by Neumann and Rosenheck (1972) in this journal. A decade later gene transfer was achieved by means of electroporation (Neumann et al. 1982). This technique is now widely used in laboratories around the world and is gaining even more attention in recent years as a method for introducing foreign genes into cells in vivo (Mir 2009), with good prospects for use in a clinical setting (Daud et al. 2008). Electroporation has been used in the last decade also for improving cancer drug delivery to cells. Preclinical investigations in the late 1980s (Orlowski et al. 1988; Mir et al. 1991) were followed by the first clinical trial in 1991 (Mir et al. 1991; Belehradek et al. 1993). Electrochemotherapy as an effective and safe ...