Mechanism of Nanoknife

NanoKnife, also known as irreversible electroporation (IRE), operates on a unique mechanism designed to treat tumors through precise electrical pulses. Here’s how it works:

1. Electrode Placement: Thin, needle-like electrodes are inserted into or around the tumor under imaging guidance (such as CT scan or ultrasound) to ensure accurate placement.

2. Electrical Pulses: Once the electrodes are positioned, a series of brief, high-voltage electrical pulses are delivered. These pulses create an electric field around the tumor.

3. Nanopore Formation: The electric pulses cause nanopores to form in the membranes of cancerous cells within the targeted area. These nanopores disrupt the cell’s integrity and balance, leading to cell death through apoptosis (programmed cell death).

4. Non-Thermal Ablation: Unlike traditional thermal-based methods (like radiofrequency or microwave ablation) that use heat to destroy tissue, NanoKnife’s mechanism is non-thermal. This characteristic helps in preserving surrounding healthy tissues and critical structures like blood vessels and nerves.

5. Selective Cell Death: NanoKnife selectively targets cancer cells while minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue. This precision is especially advantageous for treating tumors in locations where preservation of organ function and minimizing side effects are crucial.

6. Clinical Applications: NanoKnife is predominantly used for tumors that are difficult to treat with conventional surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. It offers a minimally invasive alternative with potential benefits such as reduced recovery times and lower complication rates.

Overall, NanoKnife’s mechanism of action harnesses the power of electrical pulses to disrupt and destroy cancer cells while maintaining the integrity of surrounding tissues, making it a valuable tool in the oncologist’s arsenal for treating challenging tumors.

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