Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Electroproation-based technologies and treatments

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.06.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Systems and cybernetics   
3.06.00  Medical sciences  Cardiovascular system   

Code Science Field
2.06  Engineering and Technology  Medical engineering  
3.04  Medical and Health Sciences  Medical biotechnology 
electroporation, electroporation devices, numerical modeling, neoplasms, electroextraction, biotechnologicaly relevant molecules, cell membrane, PEF treatment, gene therapy, DNA vaccination, pasteurization, tissue ablation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 28, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  450  20,178  15,056  33.46 
Scopus  575  24,623  18,679  32.49 
Researchers (25)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  53518  Katja Balantič  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  15 
2.  19722  PhD Tina Batista Napotnik  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  59 
3.  55927  Anja Blažič  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  12 
4.  57379  Tina Cimperman  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2023 - 2024 
5.  51906  PhD Helena Cindrič  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  23 
6.  37507  PhD Janja Dermol Černe  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022  67 
7.  02204  PhD Karel Flisar  Systems and cybernetics  Retired researcher  2022 - 2024  72 
8.  29041  PhD Saša Haberl Meglič  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  109 
9.  14772  PhD Tomaž Jarm  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  213 
10.  30687  PhD Bor Kos  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  177 
11.  15675  PhD Tadej Kotnik  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  204 
12.  23976  PhD Peter Kramar  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  178 
13.  29553  PhD Matej Kranjc  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  97 
14.  53516  Žana Lovšin  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  11 
15.  12537  PhD Alenka Maček - Lebar  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  220 
16.  34298  PhD Samo Mahnič-Kalamiza  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  75 
17.  10268  PhD Damijan Miklavčič  Systems and cybernetics  Head  2022 - 2024  1,493 
18.  38115  PhD Eva Pirc  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2023 - 2024  38 
19.  39223  PhD Tamara Polajžer  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  30 
20.  50659  PhD Tjaša Potočnik  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2023 - 2024  32 
21.  25421  PhD Matej Reberšek  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  163 
22.  35414  PhD Lea Rems  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  84 
23.  55921  Marko Stručić  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  12 
24.  56823  Zala Vidic  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
25.  52158  PhD Špela Zver  Biotechnology  Technical associate  2022  12 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1538  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering  Ljubljana  1626965  27,613 
Electroporation is a well established method that transiently increases permeability of the cell plasma membrane for molecules which are otherwise deprived of membrane transport mechanisms. This is achieved by exposing the cells to short high voltage electric pulses. Broad spectrum of electroporation applications as diverse as medicine, food technology, biotechnology, and environmental sciences. Experimentation with wide ranges of parameters of applied electric pulses has in the past led to the discovery and development of a number of electroporation-based technologies and treatments. These include cancer treatments, gene therapy, tissue ablation, cell fusion, food preservation and processing, and water treatment, to name only few. Current understanding of the mechanisms involved in plasma membrane electroporation, the transmembrane transport of molecules and other accompanying phenomena is, however, still incomplete. Vast majority of the protocols based on electroporation used in biomedicine, food processing, and biotechnology are determined only empirically. There is therefore a need for better understanding of the mechanisms and phenomena involved to further develop and optimize protocols, processes and treatments based on electroporation. The research group proposing this research programme has been one of the leading groups in the area of electroporation, achieving this status by its unique and markedly interdisciplinary composition. This wealth of complementary knowledge gives the group an opportunity to address the topic of electroporation and its applications from various angles, through experimentation and concurrent development of hardware and mathematical models on different levels of biological complexity: from lipid bilayers, vesicles, and biological cells, to tissues and organs. In the proposed research programme, the joint efforts of our interdisciplinary team will be dedicated to the use of existing facilities and various prototypes of electroporation devices to advance the knowledge of basic principles of electroporation, with the aim to improve existing electroporation based technologies and treatments, and to develop new applications.
Significance for science
The proposed research program builds on previous experiences and achievements. Through its work and efforts, the group is developing new knowledge and skills that improve each member as an individual as well as the group to be apt in addressing and solving complex problems. New knowledge and skills that are being developed are important for advancing the science of electroporation and developing new, as well as improving existing electroporation-based technologies and treatments. Furthermore, the knowledge and skills on specific methodology and technology developed is transferable to other fields. Contribution to science is evident from a number of highly cited publications authored by the group in scientific journals and presentations given at international scientific conferences, whereas the members' contribution to the profession is evident from published scholarly books and book chapters, as well as other published teaching material. Gene therapy is a promising approach for several diseases that currently lack successful treatment options. It has been suggested that electroporation as a nonviral approach in gene delivery may represent an improvement over viral gene transfection method. It is one of our major goals to improve electroporation transfection efficiency by developing adequate instrumentation and protocols. By advancing electroporation-based treatments, we are also aiming at developing other minimally invasive therapies based on electroporation, such as electrochemotherapy (ECT) and irreversible electroporation (IRE) for treatment of deep seated tumors, and at providing tools for treatment of cancers with poor prognosis and no efficient therapies available, including bone metastases, pancreatic and brain tumors. In this respect, an important contribution will be further development of individualized treatment planning procedures (including development of the software) for ECT of deep-seated tumors and design of new electrodes and electroporation chambers. By advancing existent and developing new electroporation-based technologies and treatments, new knowledge will be acquired, allowing complete understanding of electroporation from the membrane to tissue level. This knowledge will be incorporated into mathematical models that will allow more efficient engineering of processes, treatments and procedures leading to better reproducibility of research, robust industrial processes and successful clinical procedures.
Significance for the country
The results obtained within the proposed programme will contribute to the development of science and profession, will contribute to the development of new products and technologies, and will contribute to the development and will enable the introduction of new methods, technologies and treatment procedures in the Republic of Slovenia. New opportunities for student training and exchange will be created. Researchers and students will benefit through the group's excellent international network. The annual organization of the international scientific workshop and postgraduate school Electroporation-based Technologies and Treatments in Slovenia continues to attract top-tier educators, researchers and postgraduate students from all over the world. The results of the research group have in the past created direct benefits to domestic and foreign companies, and we will continue to cooperate with them also in the future. Numerous technologies and processes based on electroporation can bring great health benefits to the society. Among the most important are the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, oncology, and gene vaccination. The research programme has been actively involved in the development of methods and treatments for oncological therapies, and in the recent funding period, it has also been involved in top-notch efforts to use electroporation in cardiac electrophysiology. In cardiology, the irreversible electroporation is expected to become the dominant method for catheter ablation in treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, thereby improving both the safety and efficacy of therapies. Several advances in oncology have been shown to offer healing options to patients who were previously only offered palliative care. Electroporation will also be extremely important in the advancement of gene therapy, which will depend on the successful development of non-viral delivery vectors, such as electroporation.
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