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J Urol. 2008 Dec;180(6):2668-74. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Optimal parameters for the destruction of prostate cancer using irreversible electroporation.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.



Irreversible electroporation is a new tissue ablation technique that consists of applying musecond pulses of direct current to create permanent defects in the cell membrane. Irreversible electroporation spares connective tissue in blood vessels and other tissue structures. When applied properly, it does not produce thermal damage. We determined the irreversible electroporation parameters that would reliably destroy prostate cancer cells.


Irreversible electroporation pulses were applied to prostate adenocarcinoma cells in vitro. Three sets of studies were performed to determine the number, length and field strength of irreversible electroporation pulses required to produce complete cancer cell ablation without inducing thermal effects. The outcome of a treatment protocol was simulated.


We found the upper and lower limit bounds of pulse length and number in a field range of 2,000 to 250 V/cm. A total of 90 pulses at 250 V/cm for 100 museconds separated by 100 milliseconds could completely ablate prostate cancer cells without inducing thermal damage.


Irreversible electroporation represents a new nonthermal ablation modality. This study has produced values for prostate cancer treatment with irreversible electroporation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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