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Subcellular Biological Effects of Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields

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Plasma for Bio-Decontamination, Medicine and Food Security

Abstract

Membranes of biological cells can be charged by exposure to pulsed electric fields. After the potential difference across the barrier reaches critical values on the order of 1 V, pores will form. For moderate pulse parameters of duration and amplitude, the effect is limited to the outer cell membrane. With the exposure to nanosecond pulses of several tens of kilovolts per centimeter, a similar effect is also expected for subcellular membranes and structures. Cells will respond to the disruption by different biochemical processes. This offers possibilities for the development of novel medical therapies, the manipulation of cells and microbiological decontamination.

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Acknowledgment

The insight and knowledge on effects and applications of pulsed electric fields is the result of a dedicated group of researchers on this topic. I have been lucky to work with many of them at the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics or to have found them as collaborators at Old Dominion University. Without their ideas and dedication, the field would not have advanced as it has. Credit and my thanks for the opportunity to write this summary therefore are extended to E. Stephen Buescher, Peter F. Blackmore, Michael Stacey, Stephen J. Beebe, James R. Swanson, Christopher Osgood, Ravindra P. Joshi, Shu Xiao, M. Arif Malik, Yeong-Jer Chen, Richard Heller, Loree Heller, Olga Pakhomova, Andrei Pakhomov, Barbara Hargrave, Richard Nuccitelli, Angela M. Bowman, Betsy Gregory, W. Hunter Baldwin, Jennifer Pomicter, Wolfgang Frey, Uwe Pliquett, Jue Zhang, Barbara Carroll (also for proofreading this and many other manuscripts), Ruth Lyman, many students (too many to list them all) who spent years on the actual experiments and in particular Karl H. Schoenbach for his vision and leadership in this field.

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Correspondence to Juergen F. Kolb .

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Kolb, J.F., Stacey, M. (2012). Subcellular Biological Effects of Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields. In: Machala, Z., Hensel, K., Akishev, Y. (eds) Plasma for Bio-Decontamination, Medicine and Food Security. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2852-3_28

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