Introduction to Electroporation



Electroporation refers to the ability of electric fields to cause the formation of reversible or irreversible pores in the membranes of cells. Reversible electroporation (RE) is now in widespread use as a method of delivering chemicals and large molecules to cells, both as a research tool and a clinical technique. Recently, irreversible electroporation (IRE) has garnered interest as a stand-alone ablation device that may have a role in the treatment of various cancers. This book attempts to illustrate the current state of the art of electroporation and authors a number of areas of growing interest currently being studied.


Electroporation Reversible electroporation Irreversible electroporation Electrochemotherapy Gene delivery Ablation 


  1. 1.
    Bertacchini C, Margotti PM, Bergamini E, Lodi A, Ronchetti M, Cadossi R. Design of an irreversible electroporation system for clinical use. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2007;6:313–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rubinsky B. Irreversible electroporation in medicine. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2007;6:255–60.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Crowley JM. Electrical breakdown of bimolecular lipid membranes as an electromechanical instability. Biophys J. 1973;13:711–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zimmermann U, Pilwat G, Riemann F. Dielectric breakdown of cell membranes. Biophys J. 1974;14:881–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kinosita Jr K, Tsong TT. Hemolysis of human erythrocytes by transient electric field. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1977;74:1923–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Neumann E, Schaefer-Ridder M, Wang Y, Hofschneider PH. Gene transfer into mouse lyoma cells by electroporation in high electric fields. EMBO J. 1982;1:841–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wong TK, Neumann E. Electric field mediated gene transfer. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1982;107:584–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Orlowski S, Mir LM. Cell electropermeabilization: a new tool for biochemical and pharmacological studies. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1993;1154:51–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Weaver JC. Electroporation: a general phenomenon for manipulating cells and tissues. J Cell Biochem. 1993;51:426–35.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Belehradek M, Domenge C, Luboinski B, Orlowski S, Belehradek Jr J, Mir LM. Electrochemotherapy, a new antitumor treatment. First clinical phase I-II trial. Cancer. 1993;72:3694–700.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nanda GS, Sun FX, Hofmann GA, Hoffman RM, Dev SB. Electroporation therapy of human larynx tumors HEp-2 implanted in nude mice. Anticancer Res. 1998;18:999–1004.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gehl J. Electroporation: theory and methods, perspectives for drug delivery, gene therapy and research. Acta Physiol Scand. 2003;177:437–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gothelf A, Mir LM, Gehl J. Electrochemotherapy: results of cancer treatment using enhanced delivery of bleomycin by electroporation. Cancer Treat Rev. 2003;29:371–87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bloquel C, Fabre E, Bureau MF, Scherman D. Plasmid DNA electrotransfer for intracellular and secreted proteins expression: new methodological developments and applications. J Gene Med. 2004;6 Suppl 1:S11–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Maxim PG, Carson JJ, Ning S, et al. Enhanced effectiveness of radiochemotherapy with tirapazamine by local application of electric pulses to tumors. Radiat Res. 2004;162:185–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Doevenspeck H. Influencing cells and cell walls by electrostatic impulses. Fleishwirtshaft. 1961;13:986–7.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee RC, Kolodney MS. Electrical injury mechanisms: electrical breakdown of cell membranes. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1987;80:672–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lee RC, Kolodney MS. Electrical injury mechanisms: dynamics of the thermal response. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1987;80:663–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lee EW, Chen C, Prieto VE, Dry SM, Loh CT, Kee ST. Advanced hepatic ablation technique for creating complete cell death: irreversible electroporation. Radiology. 2010;255:426–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mir LM, Morsli N, Garbay JR, Billard V, Robert C, Marty M. Electrochemotherapy: a new treatment of solid tumors. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2003;22:145–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Neal 2nd RE, Singh R, Hatcher HC, Kock ND, Torti SV, Davalos RV. Treatment of breast cancer through the application of irreversible electroporation using a novel minimally invasive single needle electrode. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009;123:295–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Onik G, Mikus P, Rubinsky B. Irreversible electroporation: implications for prostate ablation. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2007;6:295–300.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rubinsky J, Onik G, Mikus P, Rubinsky B. Optimal parameters for the destruction of prostate cancer using irreversible electroporation. J Urol. 2008;180:2668–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ellis TL, Garcia PA, Rossmeisl JH, Henao-Guerrero N, Robertson J, Davalos RV. Nonthermal irreversible electroporation for intracranial surgical applications. J Neurosurg. 2010.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Charpentier KP, Wolf F, Noble L, Winn B, Resnick M, Dupuy DE. Irreversible electroporation of the pancreas in swine: a pilot study. HPB (Oxford). 2010;12:348–51.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lee EW, Loh CT, Kee ST. Imaging guided percutaneous irreversible electroporation: ultrasound and immunohistological correlation. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2007;6:287–94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Carey RI, Leveillee RJ. First prize: direct real-time temperature monitoring for laparoscopic and CT-guided radiofrequency ablation of renal tumors between 3 and 5 cm. J Endourol. 2007;21:807–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mast TD, Pucke DP, Subramanian SE, Bowlus WJ, Rudich SM, Buell JF. Ultrasound monitoring of in vitro radio frequency ablation by echo decorrelation imaging. J Ultrasound Med. 2008;27:1685–97.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Granot Y, Ivorra A, Maor E, Rubinsky B. In vivo imaging of irreversible electroporation by means of electrical impedance tomography. Phys Med Biol. 2009;54:4927–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Interventional Radiology, Department of RadiologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations