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Sabrina Campelo presents research at Frontiers in Medical Devices Conference

The sophomore physics major gave a podium presentation at the University of Maryland, College Park on Irreversible Electroporation (IRE), an emerging cancer therapy. 

Physics major Sabrina Campelo '18 recently presented her undergraduate research at the 2016 BMES/FDA Frontiers in Medical Devices conference in College Park, Md.

Her talk, titled, "Evaluation of Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) Ablation Thresholds in Human Prostate Cancer," was delivered in front of hundreds of researchers, clinicians, industry members and government officials. The project was conducted in collaboration with surgeons at University College London Hospitals who recently completed a clinical trial on IRE for the treatment of prostate cancer. In her research, Campelo determined the lethal electric field required for non-thermal ablation of prostate tumors, and the result will be critical in guiding future treatments.

The theme of the meeting was Innovations in Modeling and Simulation: Patient-Centered Healthcare. Under the guidance of her research mentor, Assistant Professor of Engineering Christopher Arena, Campelo developed a finite element model of the prostate ablation volume following IRE therapy. IRE is an emerging cancer treatment that has been applied in more than 5,000 patients with prostate, liver, kidney and pancreatic tumors. The treatment consists of inserting minimally invasive electrodes into the tumor and delivering a series of short electric pulses. The pulses lead to cell death without heating by creating nanoscale defects in the cell membranes. Campelo's numerical model incorporated these dynamic effects in order to calculate the electric field distribution around the treatment electrodes. This was the first attempt to identify an electric field threshold for IRE of human prostate cancer tissue. 

In addition to working in the Laboratory for Therapeutic Directed Energy, Campelo serves as president of the Shirley Tempos a cappella group and vice president of the Society for Physics Students.

Christopher Arena,
6/5/2016 8:40 PM