Viability of cancer cells exposed to pulsed electric fields: the role of pulse charge.
The goal of this study was to collect a comprehensive set of data that related lethal effects of electric fields to the duration of the pulse. Electric pulses of different strengths and durations were applied to a suspension of HEp-2 cells (epidermoid carcinoma of the human larynx) using a six-needle electrode array connected through an autoswitcher to a square wave generator. Pulse durations varied from 50 micros to 16 ms and the ranges of electric field were adjusted for each duration to capture cell viabilities between 0% and 100%. After pulsation, cells were incubated for 44 h at 37 degrees C, and their viability was measured spectrophotometrically using an XTT assay. For each pulse duration (d), viability data were used to determine the electric field that killed half of the cells (E50). When plotted on logarithmic axes, E50 vs. d was a straight line, leading to a hyperbolic relationship: E50=const/d. This relationship suggests that the total charge delivered by the pulse is the decisive factor in killing HEp-2 cells.
Krassowska, W; Nanda, GS; Austin, MB; Dev, SB; Rabussay, DP
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