Professor Ravi P. Joshi, PhD, P.E., Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA
Pulsed Power Opens A Gateway to Biomedical Engineering: Tumor Treatment, Drug Delivery, Nerve Stimulation and Beyond
Pulsed power is a broad technical field that is united by a common theme and activity—the transformation of electrical energy into high peak-power pulses. The value in this enabling technology is that pulsed power can be used in a large variety of applications that range from generation of electromagnetic radiation and high power microwaves either for radars or destructive capabilities, for high power lasers, in applications to nuclear fusion, production of X-rays, to ultrashort electrical pulses for bio-treatments, and in food decontamination and sterilizations. This presentation will focus on the bio-medical applications of this technology, especially as a non-thermal tool that would have minimal side-effects or collateral tissue damage.
The use of electric fields on biological systems is not new and is also quite natural given that every biological cell possesses built-in potential, neurons generate signals and communicate via electrical impulses, and ions which are abundantly present in the bio-system can be made to respond and flow by externally applied electric fields. Electrically induced cellular bio-response manipulation is useful for a variety of biomedical applications such as gene transfection, electro-chemotherapy, drug delivery, and electro-ablation. More recently, high intensity (~100 kV/cm), very short (nanosecond) duration pulsed electric fields have been shown to be useful for electrically triggered intra-cellular calcium release, immunogenic tumor cell death and shrinkage of tumors, temporary blockage of action potential in nerves, and activation of platelets for accelerated wound healing. Thus plausibly, such nanosecond pulsed electric fields could be an alternative to ionizing radiation for cancer treatment. The non-thermal nature of this ultrashort, high-intensity electric pulse excitation modality (unlike the heating caused by microwave or radiofrequency ablation) allows for successful and safe treatment of tumor ablation even in close proximity to critical structures and/or large vessels. This presentation will focus on the physics-based modeling and simulation efforts at understanding the basic physics and mechanisms of electric field interactions and modulation of the bio-responses especially by ultrashort, high-intensity electric pulsing. For clarity and concreteness, a number of representative applications will be chosen.
About the Speaker
Ravi P. Joshi received the B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees from IIT, India, and the Ph.D. degree from Arizona State University, all in electrical engineering, in 1983, 1985, and 1988, respectively. He is currently a Full Professor at Texas Tech University. He is the author of more than 160 journal publications. His current research interests include the modeling of bioelectric phenomena, charge transport, high-field non-equilibrium effects in solids and gases, and semiconductor physics. Dr. Joshi has served as a Guest Editor for five Special Issues of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), and the IEEE, besides being an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.
Invited by Shesha Jayaram.