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Monitoring the Electric Field Distribution in Soft Tissue with Electroacoustic Tomography

J Merrill*, S Wang , L Xiang , University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK


(Tuesday, 7/16/2019) 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Room: 221AB

Purpose: The use of electrical energy for physiotherapy, chemotherapy1, and microbiology2 is a rapidly growing concept. These electrotherapeutic techniques expose the target of interest to an ultra-short and intense electric field. The use of an appropriate electric field distribution in electroporation-based techniques increases membrane permeability and allows non-permeant drugs or DNA to access the cytosol of the cell via nanopores in the plasma membrane.3 The current imaging techniques for characterization and monitoring of electrotherapy are not adequate for real-time imaging. 6-13 Here we report a new imaging technology, Electroacoustic Tomography (EAT), for real-time monitoring of electrotherapy, which shows potential for biological and clinical applications.

Methods: We have developed a technique to produce an image from Electroacoustic signals that are captured by a single channel ultrasonic transducer in multiple positions to simulate a ring array structure. The system utilizes a an electric-field applied by an excitation source that can be used for clinical purposes (i.e. electroporation applications). The source applied a 1000 ns-Electric Pulse with the electric intensity 1200 V electric field. We used a conventional 500 kHz transducer with a low-noise amplifier that has a maximum gain of 60 dB to acquire pulse electric field-induced acoustic signals.

Results: We demonstrated electroacoustic imaging that results from acoustic signals proportional to the electric field intensity and conductivity of the media. Moreover, for the first time, we can directly visualize the electric field distribution in soft tissue with electroacoustic tomography (EAT) in our latest experiments.

Conclusion: We can see that this technique has the potential for real-time monitoring and characterization of the electric field distribution in membrane electroporation procedures. This imaging modality is superior to other suggested techniques because the pressure waves are a direct result from the electric field.


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