The main aim of the project is to test the hypothesis that CAP induced selective apoptosis is caused by the built up of pulsed electric fields across the cell membrane that cause reversible electroporation for the cancerous but not the healthy cells. This means that the cancerous cell membrane opens up during the presence of the electric field and allows for the penetration of the plasma generated ROS such as NO, OH, O causing apoptosis while leaving the healthy tissue intact. For the selective apoptosis to work the plasma will need to be operated in the right parameter space. Therefore a cutting edge, interdisciplinary and multinational numerical and experimental investigation is proposed to test this hypothesis and investigate the plasma parameter space that induces apoptosis. The research objectives are:

  • Research Objective 1 (RO1):Develop realistic numerical models for cells and their interaction with plasma energy to study cell surface electric fields and the generated plasma constituents.
  • Research Objective 2 (RO2): Characterize and adjust CAP source to operate on parameter space from RO1. The source will be used for experimental verification.
  • Research Objective 3 (RO3): Measure the effect of increased cell membrane permeability as a result of CAP.
  • Research Objective 4 (RO4): Experimentally verify the hypothesis of the proposal by applying plasma energy on breast cancer and healthy cells. Results from previous research objectives are used for RO4.