Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Fall 12-9-2014


School of Engineering and Computational Sciences


Engineering: Electrical Intelligence


nanopulse, nanosecond, cancer therapy, apoptosis, generator, blumlein


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Bioelectrical and Neuroengineering | Biomedical | Electrical and Electronics | Electromagnetics and Photonics | Equipment and Supplies | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment


Effective nanopulse generators have become critical in recent decades concerning the study of subcellular affects in response to nanosecond pulsed electric fields. It has been observed that nanosecond duration electric pulses can target intracellular organelles, ultimately leading to cell apoptosis, suggesting the possibility of a new, minimally invasive, low risk cancer therapy methodology. The standard topology for developing a medical nanopulser is the Blumlein “transmission line” approach. This approach relies on the nearly infinitesimal, yet finite amount of time required for an electromagnetic field to propagate down a short transmission line. Prior to design, requirements and constraints must be defined that are determined by the specific applications and experiments that the nanopulser will be used for. Special effort must be put into nanopulser design to prevent undesirable reflections and oscillations at the load. Critical design objectives common to most nanopulse generators include choosing effective switching elements that facilitate a minimal rise time, configuring the load electrodes to be compatible with experimental setups, and enabling a wide degree of versatility and adjustability concerning pulse parameters.