Clinical electroporation (EP) is a rapidly advancing treatment modality that uses electric pulses to introduce drugs or genes into, e.g., cancer cells. The indication of successful EP is an instant plasma membrane permeabilization in the treated tissue. A noninvasive means of monitoring such a tissue reaction represents a great clinical benefit since, in case of target miss, retreatment can be performed immediately. We propose diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) as a method to monitor EP tissue, using the concept of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). We hypothesize that the plasma membrane permeabilization induced by EP changes the ADC, suggesting that DW-MRI constitutes a noninvasive and quick means of EP verification. In this study we performed in vivo EP in rat brains, followed by DW-MRI using a clinical MRI scanner. We found a pulse amplitude–dependent increase in the ADC following EP, indicating that (1) DW-MRI is sensitive to the EP-induced changes and (2) the observed changes in ADC are indeed due to the applied electric field.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 6, 2011
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