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In this paper, model analysis into the time-dependent transmembrane potential at the outer cell membrane is presented, for applied high-intensity electric pulses having durations in the nanosecond range or smaller. It is argued that the frequency-dependent dielectric response of cell membranes could be used to advantage for stronger bioeffects by employing shorter pulses. Our model calculations predict faster transmembrane voltages and larger electroporation densities for a given external energy with pulse durations in the subnanosecond regime. This temporal regime would be used, for example, in the electrotherapy of mixed cell ensembles having different dielectric response properties.