McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Israel Morales

Morales.JPG

Major and Classification

Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Mentor

  • Martin Gunderson, Ph.D.

Department

  • Biomedical Engineering

McNair Project

Kilovolt Nanosecond Pulse Generator: Design for Apoptosis Inducing Cancer Therapy

Experiments in cell electroperturbation require high-voltage nanosecond pulses delivered by a pulse generator. The required electric field for electroperturbation demands pulses with an amplitude in the range of 10 kV produced at about 5 ns per pulse. The current design for the pulse generator is built to satisfy these requirements, but the actual output is measured at 4.5 kV, delivered at about 20 ns per pulse. This is a workable design that can be used, but optimal performance with pulses 10 kV and 5 ns are preferred for experiments in electroperturbation, especially in the observation of cell apoptosis due to pulsed electric field. Possible improvements to the design are discussed in this paper and implemented in a new pulse generator with the intentions of decreasing the pulse width and maintaining the output voltage into the load cuvette at 10 kV. The design reduces the parasitic inductance, which improves the time requirements. Different components are utilized to improve performance, as well as to reduce the size of the pulse generator. A more compact design is preferred for easier transport and use of the generator. The output is still not perfect. Suggestions are included for future improvements on the design based on this new generator's performance.