skip to main content

Title: HEK293 cell response to static magnetic fields via the radical pair mechanism may explain therapeutic effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields
PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) stimulation has been used for therapeutic purposes for over 50 years including in the treatment of memory loss, depression, alleviation of pain, bone and wound healing, and treatment of certain cancers. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms mediating these effects have remained poorly understood. In particular, because magnetic field pulses will induce electric currents in the stimulated tissue, it is unclear whether the observed effects are due to the magnetic or electric component of the stimulation. Recently, it has been shown that PEMFs stimulate the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) in human cell cultures by a mechanism that requires cryptochrome, a putative magnetosensor. Here we show by qPCR analysis of ROS-regulated gene expression that simply removing cell cultures from the Earth’s geomagnetic field by placing them in a Low-Level Field condition induces similar effects on ROS signaling as does exposure of cells to PEMF. This effect can be explained by the so-called Radical Pair mechanism, which provides a quantum physical means by which the rates and product yields (e.g. ROS) of biochemical redox reactions may be modulated by magnetic fields. Since transient cancelling of the Earth’s magnetic field can in principle be achieved by PEMF exposure, more » we propose that the therapeutic effects of PEMFs may be explained by the ensuing modulation of ROS synthesis. Our results could lead to significant improvements in the design and therapeutic applications of PEMF devices. « less
; ; ; ;
Cao, Yi
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Biological systems are constantly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the form of natural geomagnetic fields and EMFs emitted from technology. While strong magnetic fields are known to change chemical reaction rates and free radical concentrations, the debate remains about whether static weak magnetic fields (WMFs; <1 mT) also produce biological effects. Using the planarian regeneration model, we show that WMFs altered stem cell proliferation and subsequent differentiation via changes in reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and downstream heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression. These data reveal that on the basis of field strength, WMF exposure can increase or decreasemore »new tissue formation in vivo, suggesting WMFs as a potential therapeutic tool to manipulate mitotic activity.« less
  2. Mechanical decrystallization and water-promoted recrystallization of cellulose were studied to understand the effects of cellulose crystallinity on reaction engineering models of its acid-catalyzed hydrolysis. Microcrystalline cellulose was ball-milled for different periods of time, which decreased its crystallinity and increased the glucose yield obtained from acid hydrolysis treatment. Crystallinity increased after acid hydrolysis treatment, which has previously been explained in terms of rapid hydrolysis of amorphous cellulose, despite conflicting evidence of solvent promoted recrystallization. To elucidate the mechanism, decrystallized samples were subjected to various non-hydrolyzing treatments involving water exposure. Interestingly, all non-hydrolyzing hydrothermal treatments resulted in recovery of crystallinity, including amore »treatment consisting of heat-up and quenching that was selected as a way to estimate the crystallinity at the onset of hydrolysis. Therefore, the proposed mechanism involving rapid hydrolysis of amorphous cellulose must be incomplete, since the recrystallization rate of amorphous cellulose is greater than the hydrolysis rate. Several techniques (solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy) were used to establish that water contact promotes conversion of amorphous cellulose to a mixture of crystalline cellulose I and cellulose II. Crystallite size may also be reduced by the decrystallization-recrystallization treatment. Ethanolysis was used to confirm that the reactivity of the cellulose I/cellulose II mixture is distinct from that of truly amorphous cellulose. These results strongly point to a revised, more realistic model of hydrolysis of mechanically decrystallized cellulose, involving recrystallization and hydrolysis of the cellulose I/cellulose II mixture.« less
  3. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is one of the most widely used noninvasive brain stimulation methods. It has been utilized for both treatment and diagnosis of many neural diseases, such as neuropathic pain and loss of function caused by stroke. Existing TMS tools cannot deliver focused electric field to targeted penetration depth even though many important neurological disorders are originated from there. A breakthrough is needed to achieve noninvasive, focused brain stimulation. We demonstrated using magnetic shield to achieve magnetic focusing without sacrificing significant amount of throughput. The shield is composed of multiple layers of copper ring arrays, which utilize inducedmore »current to generate counter magnetic fields. We experimentally set up a two-pole stimulator system to verify device simulation. A transient magnetic field probe was used for field measurements. The focusing effect highly depends on the geometric design of shield. A tight focal spot with a diameter of smaller than 5 mm (plotted in MATLAB contour map) can be achieved by using copper ring arrays. With properly designed array structures and ring locations, the combined original and induced counter fields can produce a tightly focused field distribution with enhanced field strength at a depth of 7.5 mm beyond the shield plane, which is sufficient to reach many deep and critical parts of a mouse brain.« less
  4. Abstract

    Therapeutic Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) has been applied clinically for bone fracture healing and has been shown to stimulate extracellular matrix (ECM) metabolism in numerous soft tissues including intervertebral disc (IVD). In-vitro LIPUS testing systems have been developed and typically include polystyrene cell culture plates (CCP) placed directly on top of the ultrasound transducer in the acoustic near-field (NF). This configuration introduces several undesirable acoustic artifacts, making the establishment of dose-response relationships difficult, and is not relevant for targeting deep tissues such as the IVD, which may require far-field (FF) exposure from low frequency sources. The objective of thismore »study was to design and validate an in-vitro LIPUS system for stimulating ECM synthesis in IVD-cells while mimicking attributes of a deep delivery system by delivering uniform, FF acoustic energy while minimizing reflections and standing waves within target wells, and unwanted temperature elevation within target samples. Acoustic field simulations and hydrophone measurements demonstrated that by directing LIPUS energy at 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 MHz operating frequency, with an acoustic standoff in the FF (125–350 mm), at 6-well CCP targets including an alginate ring spacer, uniform intensity distributions can be delivered. A custom FF LIPUS system was fabricated and demonstrated reduced acoustic intensity field heterogeneity within CCP-wells by up to 93% compared to common NF configurations. When bovine IVD cells were exposed to LIPUS (1.5 MHz, 200 μs pulse, 1 kHz pulse frequency, and ISPTA = 120 mW cm−2) using the FF system, sample heating was minimal (+0.81 °C) and collagen content was increased by 2.6-fold compared to the control and was equivalent to BMP-7 growth factor treatment. The results of this study demonstrate that FF LIPUS exposure increases collagen content in IVD cells and suggest that LIPUS is a potential noninvasive therapeutic for stimulating repair of tissues deep within the body such as the IVD.

    « less
  5. Brain simulation techniques have demonstrated undisputable therapeutic effects on neural diseases. Invasive stimulation techniques like deep brain stimulation (DBS) and noninvasive techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have been approved by FDA as treatments for many drug resist neural disorders and diseases. Developing noninvasive, deep, and targeted brain stimulation techniques is currently one of the important tasks in brain researches. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternative current stimulation (tACS) techniques have the advantages of low cost and portability. However, neither of them can produce targeted stimulation due to lacking of electrical field focusing mechanism. Recently, Grossman et al.more »reported using the down beating signals of two tACS signals to accomplish focused stimulation. By sending two sine waves running at slightly different high frequencies (~2kHz), they demonstrated that they can modulate a “localized” neuron group at the difference frequency of the two sine waves and at the same time avoid excitation of neurons at other locations. As a result, equivalent focusing effect was accomplished by such beating mechanism. In this work, we show neither theoretically nor experimentally the beating mechanism can produce “focusing effect” and the beating signal spread globally across the full brain. The localized modulation effect likely happened right at the electrode contact sites when the electrode contact area is small and the current is concentrated. We conclude that to accomplish noninvasive and focused stimulation at current stage the only available tool is the focused TMS system we recently demonstrated.« less