The effects of high voltage PEMF on cells

40 Thousand volts, four thousand amperes, and over one hundred million watts squeezed into a cubic centimeter. You’d think that would be enough to vaporize just about anything, and it certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of electricity you’d want to apply to your body. But if our research continues to succeed as it has, years from now we’ll be asking some cancer patients to do just that. And it might just save their lives.

The trick is to apply that gargantuan jolt for only a few billionths of a second. That’s so brief a time that the energy delivered is a mere 1.6 joules per cubic centimeter—barely enough to warm a thimbleful of water by a third of a degree Celsius. But these powerful, ultrashort voltage pulses do something nothing else can—harmlessly slip past a cell’s exterior to shock the vital structures within.

The effects of such pulses of power on living tissue are profound and varied. Malignant tumors—in mice, at least—can be completely wiped out, even by significantly lower power levels; new genes can be efficiently inserted into living cells in the hope of correcting genetic defects; and immune-system cells can be marshaled to fight off invading microbes.

A new field of research, bioelectrics, is emerging to study these effects, as well as the naturally occurring electric fields in biological systems. Bioelectrics relies on a curious pairing of disciplines that until now have had almost nothing to do with each other: high-voltage engineering and cell biology. In particular, the new field depends on advanced pulsed power technology. That’s the ability to switch on and off thousands of amperes of current and just as many volts in mere nanoseconds (the kind of parameters needed to detonate nuclear bombs, it so happens). Read full article.

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