The use of electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a well-established technique to increase the cellular uptake of cytotoxic agents within certain cancer treatment strategies. The study of the mechanisms that take part in this complex process is of high interest to gain a deeper knowledge of it, enabling the improvement of these strategies. In this work, we present a coupled multi-physics electroporation model based on a related previous one, to describe the effect of a set of electric pulses on cisplatin transport across the plasma membrane. The model applies a system of partial differential equations that includes Poisson's equation for the electric field, Nernst-Planck's equation for species transport, Maxwell's tensor and mechanical equilibrium equation for membrane deformation and Smoluchowski's equation for pore creation dynamics. Our numerical results were compared with previous numerical and experimental published data with good qualitative and quantitative agreement. These results indicate that pore aperture is favored at the cell poles by the electric field and mechanical stress forces, giving support to the dominant hypothesis of hydrophilic pore creation as the main mechanism of drug entry during an ECT treatment.
Cisplatin; Coupled numerical model; Electrochemotherapy; Finite element method; Partial differential equations.
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Conflict of interest statement
Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.