health medicine and biotechnology
Noninvasive Therapy for Cartilage Regeneration
Research has shown that exposure of mammalian cartilage and bone tissue to tuned magnetic fields modifies genetic regulation at a cellular level. PEMF therapy relies on modulation and resonance of weak metals (ions) such as Ca2+, K+, Li+, and Mg2+ which can be made to move at the sub-cellular level when exposed to magnetic flux. This NASA technology is a device and method for modifying genetic regulation of cartilage and bone in response to PEMF therapy and may serve as the basis for development of novel therapies for cartilage diseases. In initial studies, cultured human chondrocyte cells (HCH) from patients with early-stage osteoarthritis were exposed to PEMF stimulation using a variety of tuned electro-magnetic pulse characteristics such as flux magnitude, slew rates, rise and fall times, frequency, wavelength, and duty cycle. Waveforms used in testing were monophasic, bi-phasic, square, sinusoidal, and triangular in nature. Frequencies were generally low, ranging from 6-500 Hz, and the waveforms used high rising and falling slew rates on the order of Tesla/sec, promoting pulses or bursts. Cellular catabolic and anabolic gene expression analyses comprised of fold-change (in expression) were accomplished by a survey of 47,000 human genes using an AFFYMETRIX Gene Array. Results show that variation of waveform used in PEMF therapies, independent of flux intensity, influences genetic regulation of HCH from patients with early-stage osteoarthritis.