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12 March 2015 Characterization of nanosecond pulse electrical field shock waves using imaging techniques
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Nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) cause the formation of small pores, termed nanopores, in the membrane of cells. Current nanoporation models treat nsPEF exposure as a purely electromagnetic phenomenon, but recent publications showing pressure transients, ROS production, temperature gradients, and pH waves suggest the stimulus may be physically and chemically multifactorial causing elicitation of diverse biological conditions and stressors. Our research group's goal is to quantify the breadth and participation of these stressors generated during nsPEF exposure and determine their relative importance to the observed cellular response. In this paper, we used advanced imaging techniques to identify a possible source of nsPEF-induced acoustic shock waves. nsPEFs were delivered in an aqueous media via a pair of 125 μm tungsten electrodes separated by 100 μm, mirroring our previously published cellular exposure experiments. To visualize any pressure transients emanating from the electrodes or surrounding medium, we used the Schlieren imaging technique. Resulting images and measurements confirmed that mechanical pressure waves and electrode-based stresses are formed during nsPEF, resulting in a clearer understanding of the whole exposure dosimetry. This information will be used to better quantify the impact of nsPEF-induced acoustic shock waves on cells, and has provided further evidence of non-electrical-field induced exposures for elicitation of bioieffects.
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L. Chris Mimun, Bennett L. Ibey, Caleb C. Roth, Ronald A. Barnes, Dhiraj K. Sardar, and Hope T. Beier "Characterization of nanosecond pulse electrical field shock waves using imaging techniques", Proc. SPIE 9326, Energy-based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment VIII, 93260S (12 March 2015);

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