Evaluation of Electric Property Changes in Cancer Cells in Vitro Induced by Cold Plasma and Electric Field Treatment

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Edwin Oshin

Edwin Oshin received the Bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Nigeria in 2018. Received his Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Old Dominion University (ODU), Norfolk, VA, USA, in 2020. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Old Dominion University (ODU), Norfolk, VA, USA. His current research interest includes studies of the fundamentals and generation of nanosecond atmospheric pressure plasma for application in cancer therapy.


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Medical Application





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2021 Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics Retreat


Nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) is a promising method for medical applications, especially in the treatment of tumors in vitro. Its main mechanism of action is it induces temporary or permanent damage to tissue known as reversible electroporation (RE) and irreversible electroporation (IRE), respectively. It has been previously shown that APPJ treatment reduces the proliferation of cancer cells, reduces the size of the tumor, and induces oxidative stress in cancer cells that can lead to the death of the cells via apoptosis [1]. Furthermore, nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) has equally been reported to cause increase in permeability of cell membrane and/or oxidative stress on cells, which is accompanied with a decrease in the impedance of the cells. It is found that the impedance of compromised or dying cells are different, typically lower than healthy cells [2]. It is therefore possible to analyze the electrical properties of the cells before, during and after treatment to better monitor the treatment outcome on the cells in real time. Here, we report the conductivity change of pancreatic cancer cells (Pan02) in response to the treatment of 200-ns, 9 kV pulsed plasma jet, 60-ns, 50 kV/cm nsPEF and the combination in vitro. The dosage dependence is evaluated by varying the treatment time of the plasma, and pulse numbers of the nsPEF, followed by the comparison of the impedance change of the monolayer Pan02 cells.

[1] C. Jiang et al., "Synergistic Effects of an Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Jet and Pulsed Electric Field on Cells and Skin," in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 49(11) (2021).

[2] E. Oshin, S. Guo, and C. Jiang “Determining Tissue Conductivity in Tissue Ablation by Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields,” Bioelectrochemistry. 143 (2022).


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Edwin Oshin Research

Work supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number 1R01EB023878-01A1 and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research of the United States of America (AFOSR) under award number FA9550-17-1-0257.


0000-0002-2932-9470 (Oshin); 0000-0002-7280-7888 (Guo); 0000-0002-1174-3876 (Colunga Biancatelli); 0000-0002-5098-295X (Catravas)

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