Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Original article

Triggering cultured human osteoblast-like cells’ maturation by an extremely low magnitude alternating electromagnetic field

Nahum Rosenberg

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Introduction: Alternating and pulsed electromagnetic magnetic fields (AEMF and PEMF) of different amplitudes and frequencies can induce metabolic and proliferative effects in osteoblasts, but there is no clearly directed tendency of these effects. I hypothesize that there are extremely low triggering parameters of alternating electromagnetic field (EMF) intensity, i.e., above the background magnetic field on earth but below the lowest AEMF and PEMF that have been investigated to date (above 0.07 mT and below 0.4 mT) that induce cellular response.
Methods: Accordingly, human monolayer explant culture replica were exposed four times in 24-hour intervals to two minutes of 10 kHz AEMF or PEMF (10 Hz pulses at a basic 5 kHz frequency) with a maximal EMF intensity of 0.2 mT for both. Cell proliferation was estimated from microscopic cell counting and cell death by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) specific activity in culture media (measured using a colorimetric method). The early marker of osteoblast maturation, cellular alkaline phosphatase (AP) specific activity, was measured using a colorimetric method (n=6 for all experiment conditions).
Results: No difference was found in cell numbers in the culture samples exposed either to AEMF or PEMF and in the LDH’s specific activity in culture media in comparison to the unexposed controls (p>0.05, for both). The cellular AP’s specific activity increased significantly only in cell cultures exposed to the 10 kHz AEMF (p=0.011).
Conclusions: The triggering for human osteoblast activation for maturation by an extremely low AEMF (10 kHz) is at least 0.2 mT, which is distinct and below the previously found triggering range of a PEMF for proliferation induction. Therefore, application of these EMF parameters in a clinical setup by a separate finetuning of osteoblast proliferation and maturation might have a therapeutic value in enhancing damaged bone regeneration.


Cell maturation; Cell proliferation; Electromagnetic field; Osteoblast; PEMF


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