Biotechnol. & Biotechnol. Eq. 2012, 26(6), 3402-3406

Ivan Dotsinsky1, Biliana Nikolova1, Ekaterina Peycheva2 and Iana Tsoneva1


1Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, Sofia, Bulgaria

2Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Oncology, Sofia, Bulgaria

Correspondence to: Iana Tsoneva




Electrochemotherapy is based on electroporation, which creates aqueous pathways in the cell membrane as a result of applied short intensive electric field usually generated by high voltage electrical pulses. The phenomenon enhances the simultaneous administration of cytotoxic drugs. Recently, several researchers forewarn of some adverse effects that could occur with electrochemotherapy of tumors located close to the heart.

We developed equipment Chemipulse III, consisting of portable low-cost electroporator, QRS synchronizer and module for longterm recording of pulse parameters. It is designed for data collection of the pulse parameters and the impedances of treated patients with surface tumors without risk of heart complications but with enhanced means for electrical safety of both patient and physician. The new instrument is with battery supply, enhanced protection against electrical hazards both for the patient and the physician, autonomy providing for more than 200 shocks with one battery charging. The data could be used to support the optimization of the voltage shock setting and the evaluation of the procedure effectiveness.

The results obtained show high efficiency of the improved approach (new modality) for lectrochemotherapy.

Thirty-seven patients with a total of 47 lesions of Ca basocellulare, Ca spinocellulare and Kaposi Sarcoma were treated with electrochemotherapy using intralesional application of bleomycin and new developed equipment Chemipulse III. The electrotreatment was done by 16 biphasic rectangular pulses, 50+50 μs duration each, with a 20 μs interval between both phases and a pause of 880 μs between the bipolar pulses. The equipment with QRS synchronizer is mandatory in cases of electrochemotherapy of patients with pacemakers and patients with heart problems. Erythema and slight edema at the site of the treated lesions occurred in most of the patients and disappeared in a few days, one week at most.

Keywords: electrochemotherapy, skin tumors, electroporator, high-voltage pulse generation, QRS synchronization


Research concept

The developed new equipment is aimed to contribute to data collection during electrochemotherapy of surface tumors that could be of importance for analysis and evaluation of the procedure effectiveness. It includes portable low-cost electroporator, QRS synchronizer and module for long-term recording of pulse parameters, thus giving an opportunity to new modality for electrochemotherapy of cancer.


The new modality of electrochemotherapy is an effective, personalized, inexpensive and mostly single procedure for treatment of skin tumors without hospitalization of the patient. The new electroporator with battery supplier is safe for patients and physicians. Possible risk of involuntary provoked electroshock with unsuitable initial energy is eliminated. The equipment with QRS synchronizer is suitable for patients with different heart problems



Biliana Nikolova-1Fig. 1. Chemipulse III coupled with the module for long-term recording of pulse parameters during treatment of surface tumors (A) and (B) Hardware QRS detection accomplished in real time by the QRS synchronizer


Biliana Nikolova-3

Fig. 2. Three representative cases: patient 1: before treatment (A), one week after treatment (B), one month after electrochemotherapy (C); patient 2: before treatment (D), one week later (E), one month follow-up (F); patient 3: before treatment (G), 24 h after treatment – edema at the site of the treatment (H), 18 months follow-up (I).

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