20th anniversary of the International Doctoral School on Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatment (EBTT)

Date of publication: 13.11.2023 Start date: 13.11.2023 Start time: 09:00 Location: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, UL

Today at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana The annual International Doctoral School EBTT (Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments), which will run until 18 November 2023, has been organised by the UL FE in cooperation with the Ljubljana Institute of Oncology since 2003. Electroporation is a versatile method for increasing the permeability of cell membranes, which is used in biomedicine for tumour treatment, gene therapy and the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, as well as in the fields of nutrition, environmental sciences and biotechnology. This year's edition of the School will offer workshops and lectures on electroporation-based technologies and therapies to 61 participants from all over the world.

Twenty years of the School of Electroporation: research and innovation in biomedical applications

The Ljubljana School is the first, oldest and world-renowned electroporation school, which has been attracting leading experts, PhD students and researchers in the field of electroporation to the Slovenian capital for 20 years in the third week of November. Over the years, more than 1000 participants from 45 countries have attended the School, which offers a comprehensive view of electroporation and its various - mainly biomedical - applications and clinical uses. The programme consists of lectures and practical exercises in laboratories and guest lectures, and is diversified by short presentations by students who take a written examination at the end. In addition to the 20th anniversary of the school, this year also marks its 60th anniversary The Biocybernetics Laboratorywhich also provides the staff, equipment and laboratories for the practical work of the school.

"When I proposed to organise the school a little over 20 years ago, and then we organised it with my colleagues from the Laboratory and all the lecturers, some of whom have been coming to Ljubljana for 20 years, I never imagined that we would be organising the school for so many years - even after 20 years. My colleagues and I at the Laboratory of Biocybernetics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering can be justifiably proud of this jubilee. Interest in the School and in electroporation is growing. Every year we see new applications that we never even considered 20 years ago," said Prof. Dr. Damijan Miklavčič, Head of the EBTT School, from the Laboratory of Biocybernetics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.

"Medtronic scientists and engineers have been participating in the EBTT International School at the University of Ljubljana for years. Thanks to lectures by leading researchers in the field and hands-on laboratory tutorials, Medtronic continues to gain in-depth knowledge and insight into the science and technology of electroporation with each attendance," says Dr. Daniel Sigg, MD, PhD, of Medtronic, a world leader in biomedical engineering.

EBTT School participants.

Round table on cardiac ablation

One of the highlights of this year's anniversary programme is a round table Pulsed Field Ablation for Atrial Ablation: Safety, Efficiency, and Regulatory Knowledge Gaps, featuring US experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), world-leading cardiologists and electrophysiologists, and industry representatives from Abbott, Johnson and Johnson, Medtronic, Boston Scientific and many others. Cardiac ablation is a new therapy for atrial fibrillation that has been available in Europe since last year and is still awaiting FDA approval in the US. The panel discussion on Thursday 16 November at 15:00 will focus on the safety and efficacy of cardiac ablation with irreversible electroporation. The roundtable is of great interest as it is unique in the world. Already 250 experts from all over the world have registered to participate in the Round Table. One of the main objectives of the Round Table is to identify knowledge gaps and speed up the approval process for new therapies in order to provide patients with a new ablation method, which is considered to be much safer than current ablation methods, as soon as possible - which is one of the reasons why the EBTT School in Ljubljana is the right place to organise such a Round Table.

Second edition of the book on electroporation

An important source of knowledge on electroporation is the book Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments, which was first published in 2019 in English, the language of science, and has since been translated into Spanish and Portuguese. It is one of the core materials for students and participants of the EBTT School, as it brings together content on the use of electroporation from basic research, to applications in biology and medicine. A second, updated edition of the book will be published this year during the School.

For more information about the programme and to register, please visit https://2023.ebtt.org/.

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