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Biological applications of large electric fields: some history and fundamentals

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1 Author(s)
Polk, Charles ; Rhode Island Univ., Kingston, RI, USA

The history of electric fields in biology is summarized briefly. Physical concepts important for explaining the action of electric field pulses on biological objects are reviewed: relation of pulse width to frequency spectrum; precise meaning of “conductor” and “dielectric”; electrical properties of living tissues; translatory and rotational motion of electric charges and dipoles; effects of inhomogeneity, diffusion and viscosity; conditions for validity of linear models; electrical mobility of ions in membrane channels and membranes; conditions for radiation; reflection, refraction, and penetration of radiated fields; effect of radiated magnetic fields on chemical reaction rates; radiation pressure; electrostriction; the problem of distinguishing between thermal and nonthermal effects. The rationale for close collaboration among biologists, engineers, physicists, and physicians is discussed

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 1 )