Send to

Choose Destination
Bioessays. 2018 Aug;40(8):e1800017. doi: 10.1002/bies.201800017. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Cells in the Non-Uniform Magnetic World: How Cells Respond to High-Gradient Magnetic Fields.

Author information

Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague 18221, Czech Republic.


Imagine cells that live in a high-gradient magnetic field (HGMF). Through what mechanisms do the cells sense a non-uniform magnetic field and how such a field changes the cell fate? We show that magnetic forces generated by HGMFs can be comparable to intracellular forces and therefore may be capable of altering the functionality of an individual cell and tissues in unprecedented ways. We identify the cellular effectors of such fields and propose novel routes in cell biology predicting new biological effects such as magnetic control of cell-to-cell communication and vesicle transport, magnetic control of intracellular ROS levels, magnetically induced differentiation of stem cells, magnetically assisted cell division, or prevention of cells from dividing. On the basis of experimental facts and theoretical modeling we reveal timescales of cellular responses to high-gradient magnetic fields and suggest an explicit dependence of the cell response time on the magnitude of the magnetic field gradient.


cell differentiation; cell fate; cell signaling; intracellular forces; magnetic fields; magnetic gradient

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center