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Evaluation of functioning of synchronization device during in vivo electrotransfer

STSM by Barbara Mali, Early-Stage Researcher

Period of mission: from 23/01/2014 to 21/02/2014

Home institution: Laboratory of Biocybernetics, University of Ljubjana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Host institution: Old Dominion University, Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Electroporation-based clinical treatments that include delivery of pulses close to the heart and/or in internal tissues can affect functioning of the heart. With aim to assure safe delivery of electroporation pulses in such clinical treatments, the algorithm for synchronization of electroporation pulse delivery with electrocardiogram (ECG) was developed and implemented in a stand-alone device (called ECGsync device). The main purpose of this STSM which was performed under supervision of Dr. Richard Heller was to test the functioning of ECGsync device in in vivo conditions. Functioning of ECGsync device was tested during in vivo electrotransfer procedure which included delivery of electroporation pulses directly to the heart muscle of a swine. The electroporation pulses were triggered in real time using ECGsync device. ECG signals and trigger signals from ECGsync device were recorded during the whole procedure and analyzed. The results showed that ECGsync device enables reliable real-time analysis of ECG signals and safe synchronization of electroporation pulse delivery with ECG, i.e., outside the vulnerable period of the heart and in absence of premature beats. The average estimated time reserve for safe electroporation pulse delivery was 45 ms for electrotransfer, and 65 ms for electrochemotherapy and irreversible electroporation. We can conclude that the device can provide effective and reliable synchronization of electroporation pulses with electrocardiogram for use in all medical applications that include delivery of electroporation pulses, regardless of application location. Of course, additional testing on larger number of ECG signals during different conditions is needed.


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