Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 45, Issue 11, pp 2524–2534 | Cite as

A Comprehensive Characterization of Parameters Affecting High-Frequency Irreversible Electroporation Lesions

  • Tyler Miklovic
  • Eduardo L. Latouche
  • Matthew R. DeWitt
  • Rafael V. Davalos
  • Michael B. SanoEmail author


Several focal therapies are being investigated clinically to treat tumors in which surgery is contraindicated. Many of these ablation techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation, rely on thermal damage mechanisms which can put critical nerves or vasculature at risk. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a minimally invasive, non-thermal technique to destroy tumors. A series of short electric pulses create nanoscale defects in the cell membrane, eventually leading to cell death. Typical IRE protocols deliver a series of 50–100 µs monopolar pulses. High frequency IRE (H-FIRE) aims to replace these monopolar pulses with integrated bursts of 0.25–10 µs bipolar pulses. Here, we examine ablations created using a broad array of IRE and H-FIRE protocols in a potato tissue phantom model. Our results show that H-FIRE pulses require a higher energy dose to create equivalent lesions to standard IRE treatment protocols. We show that ablations in potato do not increase when more than 40 H-FIRE bursts are delivered. These results show that H-FIRE treatment protocols can be optimized to produce clinically relevant lesions while maintaining the benefits of a non-thermal ablation technique.


Focal ablation Non-thermal therapy H-FIRE Tissue phantom 



This work was supported in part by the NSF through GRFP, STTR 1346343 and IIP 12655105, the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (VA-CIT) through MF13-034-LS, the NIH through R21 CA192042-01, and the DOD through the Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) Postdoctoral Training Award W81XWH-15-1-0137. The authors would also like to thank the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences (ICTAS), the Virginia Tech-Knowledge Works, and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VT-CRC) for their support of this Project.

Conflicts of interest

MBS, ELL, MRD, and RVD have accepted/pending patents on IRE based technologies. All other authors have no conflicts to report.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 335 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (TIFF 4136 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (TIFF 1270 kb)


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tyler Miklovic
    • 1
  • Eduardo L. Latouche
    • 1
  • Matthew R. DeWitt
    • 1
  • Rafael V. Davalos
    • 1
  • Michael B. Sano
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and SciencesBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.UNC-NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical EngineeringChapel HillUSA

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