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Nanosecond electric pulses have several potential advantages in electroporation-based procedures over the conventional micro- and millisecond pulses including low level of heating, reduced electrochemical reactions and reduced muscle contractions making them alluring for use in biomedicine and food industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate if nanosecond pulses can enhance the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutics bleomycin and cisplatin in vitro and to quantify metal release from electrodes in comparison to 100 μs pulses commonly used in electrochemotherapy. The effects of nanosecond pulse parameters (voltage, pulse duration, number of pulses) on cell membrane permeabilization, resealing and on cell survival after electroporation only and after electrochemotherapy with bleomycin and cisplatin were evaluated on Chinese hamster ovary cells. Application of permeabilizing nanosecond pulses in combination with chemotherapeutics resulted in successful cell kill. Higher extracellular concentrations of bleomycin - but not cisplatin - were needed to achieve the same decrease in cell survival with nanosecond pulses as with eight 100 μs pulses, however, the tested bleomycin concentrations were still considerably lower compared to doses used in clinical practice. Decreasing the pulse duration from microseconds to nanoseconds and concomitantly increasing the amplitude to achieve the same biological effect resulted in reduced release of aluminum ions from electroporation cuvettes. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Angelika Vižintin, Stefan Marković, Janez Ščančar, Damijan Miklavčič. Electroporation with nanosecond pulses and bleomycin or cisplatin results in efficient cell kill and low metal release from electrodes. Bioelectrochemistry (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2021 Aug;140:107798

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PMID: 33743336

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