What is Electroporation?

Electroporation is the technique of applying pulsed electrical fields to cells in order to increase the permeability of the cell membrane.

Thus allowing larger molecules, which would otherwise be difficult to permeate, to enter the cell by passive diffusion. In clinical practice low dose chemotherapy drugs or calcium locally injected into the tumour have been commonly used in combination with this technique to elicit a targeted precision based tumour ablative response.

The clinical utilisation of electroporation has broadened considerably over the last 10 years with applications being established in combination with low dose chemotherapy (electrochemotherapy) or using electroporation pulses alone (irreversible electroporation) to induce tumour cell death. Patient benefits from the technology have been demonstrated to include healthy tissue preservation with excellent tumour regression (>50%) observed after a single treatment.

The effectiveness of electroporation has been reported by a growing number of clinicians in the US and Europe resulting in excellent improvement in quality of life and reports of tumour reduction for both endoluminal and cutaneous applications.

The greater conductivity of tumour tissue, compared to the surrounding healthy tissue, means the permeabilization of tumour cells is selective and the technique causes non-thermal tumour tissue ablation. The healthy tissue remains undamaged in the process resulting in healthy tissue preservation, benefiting both the clinician and the patient.