Irreversible electroporation in liver cancers and whole organ engineering

Aman Saini, Ilana Breen, Sadeer Alzubaidi, Yash Pershad, Rahul Sheth, Sailendra Naidu, M. Grace Knuttinen, Hassan Albadawi, Rahmi Oklu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Liver cancers contribute significantly to cancer-related mortality worldwide and liver transplants remain the cornerstone of curative treatment for select, early-stage patients. Unfortunately, because of a mismatch between demand and supply of donor organs, liver cancer patients must often wait extended periods of time prior to transplant. A variety of local therapies including surgical resection, transarterial chemoembolization, and thermal ablative methods exist in order to bridge to transplant. In recent years, a number of studies have examined the role of irreversible electroporation (IRE) as a non-thermal local ablative method for liver tumors, particularly for those adjacent to critical structures such as the vasculature, gall bladder, or bile duct. In addition to proving its utility as a local treatment modality, IRE has also demonstrated promise as a technique for donor organ decellularization in the context of whole-organ engineering. Through complete non-thermal removal of living cells, IRE allows for the creation of an acellular extra cellular matrix (ECM) scaffold that could theoretically be recellularized and implanted into a living host. Here, we comprehensively review studies investigating IRE, its role in liver cancer treatment, and its utility in whole organ engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • HCC
  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Liver cancer
  • Whole-organ engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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