Parametric Analysis of Electric Field Distribution of Rat Vasculature using Finite Element Time Domain Technique

Chris Capaccio1, Nikolay Stoykov1, Fermin Cortes2,
A. Gutierrerz3,
Raji Sundararajan1,3, and David A. Dean1
1Northwestern University, 2University of Waterloo,
3Arizona State University

This paper deals with the study of the effects of tissue parameters, such as electrical conductivity and permittivity on the electric field distribution of a rat mesenteric vasculature model under electroporation conditions.

Electroporation is a nonviral, physical technique that involves transient dielectric breakdown of the cell’s plasma membrane when high intensity and short duration electrical voltage pulses are applied. This increases the permeability of the membranes and thus enhances the transfer of macromolecules, such as DNA and drugs into the cell more easily than without the pulses.

Finite Element Time Domain (FETD) technique with Debye dielectric dispersion parameters was used to model this process. The FETD model developed in FEMLAB was implemented using MATLAB.

Results indicate, that in general, the electric field magnitudes changed more significantly when the conductivity values were changed than when the relative permittivity values or the number of terms (2 and 3) of Debye parameters were changed. It is of practical interest to evaluate the effects of these parameters on the tissue electric field distribution to improve gene and drug delivery.

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