Applications of Electroporation in Microorganism Inactivation and Pain Remediation
Electroporation uses puled electric fields to permeabilize cell membranes to either introduce exogeneous molecules into cells through normally impermeable membranes or completely lysing cells to induce cell death. This thesis examines electroporation in combination with a natural product for microorganism inactivation and pulsed magnetic fields for inducing pain remediation. Motivated by previous studies using curcumin with pulsed electric fields for cancer treatment, we hypothesized that this combined treatment modality could also enhance microorganism inactivation. The experiments did not indicate any synergistic benefit from combining curcumin and pulsed electric fields for microorganism inactivation. We also hypothesized that a pulsed magnetic field treatment could permeabilize neuron membranes to block action potentials to reduce pain without requiring drugs or direct intervention with the electric pulses. This thesis explored Sim4Life, a commercial software that coupled electromagnetic solvers with models of organisms to assess the interaction of pulsed magnetic fields with tissues. We designed and simulated a device for generating a pulsed magnetic field with different geometries to assess electric and magnetic field generation. These studies only considered pulsed magnetic fields and not specifically time-dependent currents or DC magnetic fields that could be benchmarked to standard analytic solutions. The process outlined here will enable future benchmarking for Multiphysics, multiscale simulations of pulsed magnetic fields, AC magnetic fields, or novel electromagnetic waveforms. The results for this thesis provide a starting point for future experiments coupling electroporation with natural products for microorganism inactivation and for assessing in vivo effects of external electromagnetic fields.
Office of Naval Research #N00014-21-1-2055
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Graduate Fellowship
- Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- West Lafayette