Case Studies supporting PEMF benefits for Tendon
Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields significantly improve time of closure and proliferation of human tendon fibroblasts
Background: The promotion of the healing process following musculoskeletal injuries comprises growth factor signalling, migration, proliferation and apoptosis of cells. If these processes could be modulated, the healing of tendon tissue may be markedly enhanced. Here, we report the use of the Somagen™ device, which is certified for medical use according to European laws. It generates low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields that trigger effects of a nature that are yet to be determined.
Methods: A 1.5-cm wide, linear scrape was introduced into patellar tendon fibroblast cultures (N = 5 donors). Treatment was carried out every second day. The regimen was applied three times in total with 30 minutes comprising pulsed electromagnetic field packages with two fundamental frequencies (10 minutes of 33 Hz, 20 minutes of 7.8 Hz). Control cells remained untreated. All samples were analyzed for gap closure time, proliferation and apoptosis one week after induction of the scrape wound.
Results: The mean time for bridging the gap in the nontreated cells was 5.05 ± 0.33 days, and in treated cells, it took 3.35 ± 0.38 days (P <0.001). For cell cultures with scrape wounds, a mean value for BrdU incorporation of OD = 0.70 ± 0.16 was found. Whereas low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields treated samples showed OD = 1.58 ± 0.24 (P <0.001). However, the percentage of apoptotic cells did not differ between the two groups.
Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields emitted by the Somagen™ device influences the in vitro wound healing of patellar tendon fibroblasts and, therefore, possibly increases wound healing potential.
Mechanical Stimulation (Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields “PEMF” and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy “ESWT”) and Tendon Regeneration: A Possible Alternative
The pathogenesis of tendon degeneration and tendinopathy is still partially unclear. However, an active role of metalloproteinases (MMP), growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and a crucial role of inflammatory elements and cytokines was demonstrated. Mechanical stimulation may play a role in regulation of inflammation. In vitro studies demonstrated that both pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine such as interleukin (IL-6 and IL-10). Moreover, ESWT increases the expression of growth factors, such as transforming growth factor b(TGF-b), (VEGF), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), as well as the synthesis of collagen I fibers. These pre-clinical results, in association with several clinical studies, suggest a potential effectiveness of ESWT for tendinopathy treatment. Recently PEMF gained popularity as an adjuvant for fracture healing and bone regeneration. Similarly to ESWT, the mechanical stimulation obtained using PEMFs may play a role for treatment of tendinopathy and for tendon regeneration, increasing in vitro TGF-b production, as well as scleraxis and collagen I gene expression. In this manuscript the rational of mechanical stimulations and the clinical studies on the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave (ESW) and PEMF will be discussed. However, no clear evidence of a clinical value of ESW and PEMF has been found in literature with regards to the treatment of tendinopathy in human, so further clinical trials are needed to confirm the promising hypotheses concerning the effectiveness of ESWT and PEMF mechanical stimulation.
Case Study Reference Source:
1. Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields significantly improve time of closure and proliferation of human tendon fibroblasts
(Authors: Claudine Seeliger, Karsten Falldorf, Jens Sachtleben and Martijn van Griensven)
2. Mechanical Stimulation (Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields “PEMF” and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy “ESWT”) and Tendon Regeneration: A Possible Alternative
(Authors: Federica Rosso, Davide E. Bonasia, Antonio Marmotti, Umberto Cottino and Roberto Rossi)