Shining Light on Cancer

Year: 
2020
Ranking: 
Entrant
Artist: 
Pouria Mistani (Graduate Student)
Department: 
Mechanical Engineering

Description

Effective chemotherapy can be achieved with the help of strong electrical pulses, a process that is known as "electroporation". Despite its promises, a model at the tissue scale is not conceived yet. This work is a large computational step in this direction.

We have developed the first large scale computational simulation engine to study electroporation at the tissue scale using supercomputers. In our simulations we capture the complex interactions of cells with oscillating electric fields passing through a tumor spheroid, and develop an effective model that will guide actual medical treatments.

This artwork is an image from the simulation of a large, spherical cluster of cells responding to an electric pulse. Cells in the aggregate are color-coded by their transmembrane potential (hotter colors on cells imply higher transmembrane potential). The equatorial slice is to illustrate some of the computational techniques used for solving bioelectric interactions on the cell membranes.

CSEPMOXICNSISchuller LabUCSB