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Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics
Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics

Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics

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Bioelectrics Workshop, Norfolk, July 23-28, 2012


October 7, 2011 Gintautas Saulis, PhD, Laboratory of Biophysics for Bionanotechnology and Medicine Department of Biology, Faculty of Nature Sciences Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania. Electrochemical processes occurring during cell electromanipulation procedures and their consequences


October 21, 2011 Julie Gehl, MD PhD, Center for Experimental Drug and Gene Electrotransfer, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark. Drug and gene delivery by electroporation: What we've learnt, where the technology could go and how it would get there

BIOELECTRICS 2011 International Bioelectrics Symposium May 4-6, 2011 Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology, Toulouse, France


The 2010 International Bioelectrics Conference will be held June 25-26 at Old Dominion University, hosted by the Frank Reidly Research Center for Bioelectrics



Dr. Shu Xiao presented an invited talk on "Biological Cell Response to High Power Electromagnetic Pulses" at the 2010 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference in Atlanta, GA, on May 27, 2010

Andrei Pakhomov is co-editor of a new book on Advanced Electroporation Techniques in Biology and Medicine which summarizes most recent experimental findings and theories related to permeabilization of biomembranes by pulsed electric fields. It contains contributions from Andrei Pakhomov and Olga Pakhomova, Richard and Loree Heller, Juergen F. Kolb, and Karl H. Schoenbach. 


Dr. Juergen Kolb presented an invited talk on “Streamer Breakdown and Propagation in Water” at the International Workshop on Plasmas in Liquids in Matsuyama, Japan on March 23, 2010.


Dr. Kolb received  a "Shining Star Award"  from the Old Dominion University Division of Student Affairs.


As director of the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, I would like to welcome you to our website. The Center for Bioelectrics (CBE) was established in 2002 by Dr. Karl Schoenbach as the first research center in bioelectrics in the world.   The CBE is an interdisciplinary center at Old Dominion University and is one of only two centers which report directly to the Vice President for Research.  The mission of the Center is to increase scientific knowledge and understanding of how intense, pulsed electromagnetic fields and cold ionized gases interact with biological systems and to apply this knowledge to the development of medical diagnostics and therapeutics as well as environmental decontamination. Our researchers strive to engage in scholarly research at the forefront of biomedical engineering.

The CBE has grown over the past couple of years to over 40 researchers with expertise in engineering, physics, immunology, molecular biology and biology working in newly constructed state-of-art-laboratories occupying approximately 14,000 sq ft. Research at the Center ranges from fundamental studies of electric field and plasma effects on biological cells to applied research including medical and commercial applications. Currently, there are many cutting edge research projects being conducted at the CBE such as water decontamination, imaging, wound healing, vaccine development, cardiovascular therapies, gene delivery, membrane physiology, biomechanical properties and tumor treatment.  The productivity of the CBE is evident by the more than 100 publications which have been published by researchers in the Center over the past four years.  The Center coordinates an International Consortium on Bioelectrics including groups in United States, Japan, Germany and France.  I invite you to learn more about us, and please feel free to contact the bioelectrics faculty if you have questions about our research programs.

Dr. Richard Heller



The Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics (FRRCBE) exemplifies Old Dominion University's leadership role in this new field along with substantial federal agency support. The mission of the Center is to increase scientific knowledge and understanding of the interaction of electromagnetic fields and ionized gases with biological cells and to apply this knowledge to the development of medical diagnostics, therapeutics, and environmental decontamination. The objectives of the Center are to perform leading edge interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research, recruit top faculty and exceptional graduate students, support regional, national and international programs, and to increase external funding and institutional visibility.


Approximately 40 researchers from more than 10 countries work in the 14,000 sq ft center on research topics reaching from bacterial decontamination of food to novel cancer therapies.



  • Pulsed power technology for biological/medical applications in the nanosecond and subnanosecond range through to the microsecond, millisecond and second range.
  • Design and modeling of pulse delivery systems ranging from needle electrodes over coaxial plane electrodes to antennas.
  • Development of applications for ultrashort pulse technology ranging from wound healing to tumor treatment to neuromuscular effects.
  • Development of devices and protocols for pulse delivery systems for drugs and genes.


Wound Healing

  • Platelet gels - nanosecond pulse electric fields to activate platelets
  • Gene therapy – delivery of plasmids encoding angiogenic factors to accelerate wound healing


  • Use of cold plasma to destroy bacteria
  • prevention of wound infections
  • decontamination of food

Treatment of Cancer

  • Ablation therapy – nanosecond pulse electric fields to destroy tumor cells – work performed in melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer
  • Gene therapy – micro-millisecond pulse electric fields to deliver plasmid DNA to stimulate immune system.  Phase I clinical trial successfully completed.


  • Use of picosecond pulse electric fields to image malignancies


  • Coronary artery disease – gene therapy to assist revascularization 
  • Peripheral vascular disease - gene therapy to assist revascularization

Funded Research

Electroporation -Gene Therapy

 Cancer therapy                                NIH funding
 Wound healing                                NIH and DOD funding
 Coronary Artery Disease               NIH funding
 DNA Vaccines                                 DARPA funding

Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields
 Cancer therapy                                NIH funding; license negotiations are underway
 Tissue ablation                               licensed
 Neuromuscular effects                  ONR funding
 Wound healing                                DOD & Internal funding
 Medical Imaging                              AFOSR and Industry funding
 Bacterial Decont. of Food              Industry funding

Cold Plasma
Bacterial decontamination of surfaces                Internal Funding