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New UWB bipolar high power pulse source for medical and military applications – ESCAPADE

Submission summary

Along the last decade, the high-power microwave domain has been under dynamic development, with extremely important applications in the defense industry, social security and anti-terrorist counter-measures. In all cases the already developed pulsed power generators are currently capable of producing voltage impulses with a time rate-of-change around 2MV/ns, but the requirements for increased efficiency in essential practical application point out to the necessity of raising this value towards 3MV/ns. The necessity of developing novel pulsed-power generator architecture is therefore of interest to many domains. There are other domains as well, such as food industry and medical applications, where the techniques described in what follows can find use. Electroporation is a bioelectric technique, in which an intense pulsed electrical field (PEF) is applied in order to massively increase the permeability of the cell membrane. This technique has seen in the last decade a considerable development in relation to food industry and medical applications (malignant tumour treatment, gene electro-transfer, sterilisation, disinfection, etc.). The electrochemotherapy (ECT) technique was developed at Gustave-Roussy and ECT is already well implemented in 8 European countries. This technique allows the successful delivery to a cancer cell of bleomycin, a glycopeptide antitumor antibiotic, which targets intracellular components. The ECT technique is based on the local application of short duration, intense PEFs, inducing an increased but reversible permeability of the cell. The ECT technique has already proven results in the case of treating malignant skin cancers and both subcutaneous cancers. However, as the locally applied PEFs is using an arrangement with electrodes implanted around the treated zone, the technique is invasive with the main drawback being that it is not possible to treat deep tumours. The main objective of the present proposal is the development of a novel and non-invasive PEF reversible electroporation technique, which will allow the treatment of tumours situated inside the body. The present proposal is based on the idea of producing intense PEFs inside a high-value permittivity medium, at a distance of a few cm from a magnetic coil, by using the fast varying magnetic field generated inside the medium.
One of the most important stages of the research programme will be the development of a pulsed power generator capable of producing very high-voltage impulses on a magnetic coil, with the extreme time rate-of-change of the voltage approaching 3MV/ns allowing the nearby generation of powerful PEFs, as required in medical applications. The electrical characteristics required from such a generator are similar to those of the best units ever developed in the pulsed power domain and should be of interest to the national Defense projects!
To summary, the objective of the ESCAPADE project is, through the development of an impulse source associated with an electromagnetic wave (EM) emission system, both to explore a new path in the medical field that would treat non-invasively deep tumors by reversible electroporation and also to neutralize Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), or any target containing electronics, by disrupting or destroying the electronics of their trigger or communication system at several tens of meters, without having to know these targets.
The pulse source consists of a pulse generator delivering bipolar pulses with very high voltage rate-of-change. Depending on the considered application, the antennas associated with this pulse source will differ. For the medical application, it will be an inductive antenna in the near field. While, for the IED neutralization application, a broadband antenna supporting very high peak powers will be developed. The objective here is to radiate an intense electromagnetic field several tens of meters from the source.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Laurent PECASTAING (Laboratoire des Sciences pour l'Ingénieur Appliquées à la Mécanique et au génie Electrique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


VTA CNRS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
XLIM Institut de Recherche XLIM
LU Wolfson School of Mechanical Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
SIAME Laboratoire des Sciences pour l'Ingénieur Appliquées à la Mécanique et au génie Electrique

Help of the ANR 299,970 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2018 - 36 Months

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