Minimally Invasive, Non-Thermal Tissue Ablation with a Single Exponential Decay Electrolytic Electroporation Waveform

Boris Rubinsky1,2, Enric Gunther1,2,3, Florin Botea4,5, Franco Lugnani6, Vlad Herlea5,7, Paul Mikus2, 
Mihail Pautov4,5, Nina Klein2,3, Catalin Pecheanu5,7, Michael K. Stehling1,2,3, Dana Tomescu5,8, Matteo Macchioro6, Simona Dima4,5, Alexandru Serban9, Irinel Popescu4,5
1Department of Bioengineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA
2Inter Science, Luzern, Switzerland
3Institut fuer Bildgebende Diagnostik, Offenbach, Germany
4Center of General Surgery and Liver Transplantation – Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania
5Center of Translational Medicine – Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania 6Hippocrates D.O.O, Divaĉa, Slovenia; Clinica Santa Elena, Malaga, Spain
7Department of Pathology – Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania
8Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care – Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania
9Department of Building Services, Transilvania University, Brasov, Romania
Corresponding author:
Boris Rubinsky
Professor of mechanical engineering Department of Bioengineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA


A new minimally invasive tissue ablation technique, that combines the biophysical processes of electroporation and electrolysis, is introduced. The technology employs electrode needles inserted in the target tissue to deliver an Electrolytic Electroporation Waveform (EEW) in the form of an exponential decay voltage, several tens of microsecond long. A case study in a large animal model demonstrates that clinically significant size lesions can be achieved with a single, milliseconds long EEW. Ablation with EEW has major advantages over the comparable tissue ablation techniques of electrolysis, reversible electroporation and irreversible electroporation. EEW is orders of magnitude faster than conventional electrolytic ablation. EEW does not require the use of muscle relaxant as irreversible electroporation and EEW does not require injection of drugs as reversible electroporation. This new technology is simple to use and may become an important addition to the minimally invasive surgery armamentarium.

Key words: electroporation, electrolysis, tissue ablation technique, experimental surgery