A new study by Professor Ludger Gerdesmeyer investigates the use of EMTT in bone healing. For many patients with non-unions or those needing to regain use of the bone in a short period, such as professional athletes, EMTT seems to provide impressive assistance. We summarise the paper below, however the full paper can be read here.
Short-acting electromagnetic impulses, known as pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy, are used for non-invasive treatment of soft tissue injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, and degeneration. Previous studies have shown that PEMF therapy stimulates bone tissue by promoting cell proliferation, extracellular matrix production, and inhibiting inflammation. The FDA has approved PEMF therapy for various health conditions.
Recent studies have shown that shorter treatment durations per day can be effective in stimulating bone growth. Different PEMF devices and technologies have been designed, but most clinical trials have not proven their efficacy in bone healing. The strength of the electromagnetic field, known as effective transduction power, is an important parameter in PEMF therapy.
Electromagnetic transduction therapy (EMTT) is a promising new form of electromagnetic treatment that uses high-intensity PEMFs with specific parameters. EMTT has a stronger magnetic field strength and much faster frequency than most PEMF devices. In this experimental study, the effect of EMTT on human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was investigated, simulating outpatient treatment. The study analyzed the effect of PEMFs on mRNA expression of early and late osteogenic markers, as well as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) and bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) involved in bone healing. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether short-term EMTT promotes osteogenic stimulation and differentiation of MSCs.
The study used human bone material obtained from patients undergoing total hip operation to isolate and culture human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs were cultured in a specific medium and then stimulated with osteogenic differentiation medium (ODM) to promote bone cell development. An electromagnetic transduction therapy (EMTT) device called TheraCell was used to deliver high-intensity pulsed electromagnetic fields to the MSCs at two different magnetic field strengths (80 mT and 150 mT) for 10 minutes, six times over a two-week period. The study aimed to investigate the effects of EMTT on MSCs and their osteogenic differentiation.
The results of the study showed that cell proliferation, as measured by optical density of MTS assay, increased continuously from day 1 to day 14 in both the untreated control group and the groups treated with different strengths of electromagnetic transduction therapy (EMTT). There was no significant difference in cell viability between the control group and the EMTT-treated groups on day 7 or day 14.
mRNA expression of bone regenerative factors also showed no significant differences between untreated and treated groups on day 7, but there was a tendency towards higher expression of pro-osteogenic factors in the group treated with higher strength of EMTT on day 14. Expression of collagen I, alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, VEGF, and BMP-2 did not change significantly after six treatments of EMTT.
The results of this study show that EMTT might be an effective and time-saving device for the treatment of several fundamental orthopedic diseases like fracture healing, early-stage osteonecrosis, tendinous and muscular disorders and potentially even for bony tissue engineering. A magnetic field strength of 80 mT and a frequency of 3 Hz are seemed to be most effective for MSC stimulation.