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Orthopedics. 2013 Mar;36(3):e360-5. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20130222-27.

Effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields on the bioactivity of human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.

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1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Abstract

Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) are used for the treatment of human osteoarthritic cells in vivo without knowledge of underling principles. The authors evaluated the effect of PEMFs on human chondrocytes of the osteoarthritic knee in vitro. Biopsies of the cut femoral condyles after total knee arthroplasty were kept in a standard cell culture medium consisting of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium: nutrient mixture F-12, 10% fetal calf serum, PenStrept (Mediatech, Inc, Manassas, Virginia), and ascorbic acid for 4 days and randomly split into an exposed group (PEMF for 4 hours daily for 4 days at 75 Hz and 1.6 mT) and a control group. Both groups were retained for biochemical and polymerase chain reaction analysis (glycosaminoglycan and DNA levels). A P value less than .05 was considered significant.DNA analysis revealed no differences between groups and no increase in content after exposure (P=.88 and .66, respectively). The increase of glycosaminoglycans was 0.4±1.6 ng (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 0.5) and -0.5±1.8 ng (95% CI, 0.6 to -1.5) in the exposed and control groups, respectively, with no significant difference (P=.24). A smaller decrease of glycosaminoglycan and DNA levels was observed over 4 days in the exposed group compared with the control group, with no statistical significance. The authors concluded that low-frequency PEMFs do not significantly influence the biosynthetic activity of explantcultures of human osteoarthritic cells in vitro. Nevertheless, they may be suitable as an adjuvant to a larger treatment regimen.

PMID:
23464958
DOI:
10.3928/01477447-20130222-27
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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