Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Centre for Biological Engineering

Therapeutic use of nanosecond pulsed electric fields

Electronic pulses on prosthetic hand

This project aims at applying pulsed electric fields to influence the behaviour of cells for therapeutical purposes, in particular wound sterilization and nerve regeneration.

Although electric fields have been used in biomedical applications for centuries, the use of nanosecond pulsed electric fields is only recent and it provides opportunities for new therapeutic interventions. Two aspects enabled by pulsing the electric field are explored in this project.

The first is non-invasive therapy - pulsed electric fields can be radiated and made to penetrate into a body without the need for surgery and implants. Secondly, pulsed electric fields are able to interact with organelles inside the cells rather than only with the cell membrane, as is the case with low frequency fields used conventionally.

Funding body


Project dates / duration

2004 - 2006; 2009 - 2012

Project team


Dr Felipe Iza: F.Iza@lboro.ac.uk, 01509 227077

Project outputs / results


"Bacterial cells exposed to nanosecond pulsed electric fields show lethal and sublethal effects", S. Perni, P.R. Chalise, G. Shama and M.G. Kong, Intl. J. Food Microbiol., 120, pp 311-314 (2007).

"Lethality Mechanisms in Escherichia coli Induced by Intense Sub-microsecond Electrical Pulses", P.R. Chalise, S. Perni, G. Shama, B. Novac, I.R. Smith and M.G. Kong, Appl. Phys. Lett., 89, pp 153902 (2006).

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State-of-the-art facility

The facility is made up of a suite of Class 2 laboratories for cell growth, a bioelectrical facility and an analytical suite to service all laboratories.

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