Nanosecond electric pulses modulate skeletal muscle calcium dynamics and contraction

Chris Valdez, Michael B. Jirjis, Caleb C. Roth, Ronald A. Barnes, Bennett L. Ibey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Irreversible electroporation therapy is utilized to remove cancerous tissues thru the delivery of rapid (250Hz) and high voltage (V) (1,500V/cm) electric pulses across microsecond durations. Clinical research demonstrated that bipolar (BP) high voltage microsecond pulses opposed to monophasic waveforms relieve muscle contraction during electroporation treatment. Our group along with others discovered that nanosecond electric pulses (nsEP) can activate second messenger cascades, induce cytoskeletal rearrangement, and depending on the nsEP duration and frequency, initiate apoptotic pathways. Of high interest across in vivo and in vitro applications, is how nsEP affects muscle physiology, and if nuances exist in comparison to longer duration electroporation applications. To this end, we exposed mature skeletal muscle cells to monopolar (MP) and BP nsEP stimulation across a wide range of electric field amplitudes (1-20 kV/cm). From live confocal microscopy, we simultaneously monitored intracellular calcium dynamics along with nsEP-induced muscle movement on a single cell level. In addition, we also evaluated membrane permeability with Yo-PRO®-1 and Propidium Iodide (PI) across various nsEP parameters. The results from our findings suggest that skeletal muscle calcium dynamics, and nsEP-induced contraction exhibit exclusive responses to both MP and BP nsEP exposure. Overall the results suggest in vivo nsEP application may elicit unique physiology and field applications compared to longer pulse duration electroporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy-Based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment IX
EditorsThomas P. Ryan
ISBN (Electronic)9781510605732
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventEnergy-Based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment IX - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 29 2017Jan 30 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceEnergy-Based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • C2C12
  • Calcium
  • Nanoporation
  • Nanosecond electric pulses
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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