Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Physical Review E










A model analysis of electroporation dynamics in biological cells has been carried out based on the Smoluchowski equation. Results of the cellular response to short, electric pulses are presented, taking account of the growth and resealing dynamics of transient aqueous pores. It is shown that the application of large voltages alone may not be sufficient to cause irreversible breakdown, if the time duration is too short. Failure to cause irreversible damage at small pulse widths could be attributed to the time inadequacy for pores to grow and expand beyond a critical threshold radius. In agreement with earlier studies, it is shown that irreversible breakdown would lead to the formation of a few large pores, while a large number of smaller pores would appear in the case of reversible breakdown. Finally, a pulse width dependence of the applied voltage for irreversible breakdown has been obtained. It is shown that in the absence of dissipation, the associated energy input necessary reduces with decreasing pulse width to a limiting value. However, with circuit effects taken into account, a local minima in the pulse dependent energy function is predicted, in keeping with previously published experimental reports.


"Yes, the author or the author's employer may use all or part of the APS published article, including the APS-prepared version (e.g., the PDF from the online journal) without revision or modification, on the author's or employer's website as long as a fee is not charged. If a fee is charged, then APS permission must be sought. In all cases, the appropriate bibliographic citation and notice of the APS copyright must be included."

© American Physical Society

Original Publication Citation

Joshi, R. P., & Schoenbach, K. H. (2000). Electroporation dynamics in biological cells subjected to ultrafast electrical pulses: A numerical simulation study. Physical Review E, 62(1), 1025-1033. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.62.1025


0000-0001-7867-7773 (Schoenbach)