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Controlling the susceptibility of biological cells to pulsed electric field treatment by using ion channel modulators

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "EPmIC" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: KONGRESNI TRG 12
postcode: 1000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Slovenia [SI]
 Total cost 155˙288 €
 EC max contribution 155˙288 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2021
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2021-01-11   to  2022-12-10


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERZA V LJUBLJANI SI (LJUBLJANA) coordinator 155˙288.00


 Project objective

The integrity of the cell membrane, while essential for life of any biological cell, presents a barrier that sometimes needs to be transiently disrupted in order to deliver therapeutic molecules inside the cell. High-intensity pulsed electric fields (PEFs) are used increasingly in medicine to achieve such increase in cell membrane permeability via a phenomenon called cell membrane electroporation. PEF-based clinical applications include gene therapy techniques, DNA vaccination, electrochemotherapy, non-thermal tumor ablation, and cardiac ablation. Depending on the desired outcome of the PEF treatment, the targeted cells must either survive or die. However, different cell types exhibit different susceptibility to PEF treatment, with some cells being killed at lower pulse amplitude than others, which often presents a disadvantage that limits the safety and efficiency of PEF treatment. In this action I aim to design an approach that will allow us to increase or decrease cell’s susceptibility to PEF treatment in a controlled, clinically applicable way. The approach is based on using modulators of membrane ion channels, that can influence the extent and longevity of post-pulse membrane depolarization – a hallmark of membrane electroporation. My idea is on the one hand inspired by increasing amount of evidence showing the involvement of ion channels in PEF-induced cell response, and on the other hand by the fact that ion channel modulators are already successfully used in treatment of various diseases and we can expect exciting development of new modulators in the near future. The design will be guided by state-of-the-art microscopic techniques and computational models, including molecular dynamics simulations, particle-based simulations, and finite element modeling, that will help elucidate the molecular mechanisms of membrane depolarization and choose the appropriate modulators and pulse parameters for fine-tuning the treatment outcome.

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