Effects of Electromagnetic Stimulation on Gene Expression of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Repair of Bone Lesions

Document Type : Original Article


1 National Cell Bank of Iran, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Biophysics and Medical Physics, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Most people experience bone damage and bone disorders during their lifetimes. The use of autografts is a suitable way for injury recovery and healing. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are key players in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Their proliferation potential and multipotent differentiation ability enable MSCs to be considered as appropriate cells for therapy and clinical applications. Differentiation of stem cells depends on their microenvironment and biophysical stimulations. The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of an electromagnetic field on osteogenic differentiation of stem cells.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental animal study, we assessed the effects of the essential parameters of a pulsatile electromagnetic field on osteogenic differentiation. The main purpose was to identify an optimum electromagnetic field for osteogenesis induction. After isolating MSCs from male Wistar rats, passage-3 (P3) cells were exposed to an electromagnetic field that had an intensity of 0.2 millitesla (mT) and frequency of 15 Hz for 10 days. Flow cytometry analysis confirmed the mesenchymal identity of the isolated cells. Pulsatile electromagnetic field-stimulated cells were examined by immunocytochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Electromagnetic field stimulation alone motivated the expression of osteogenic genes. This stimulation was more effective when combined with osteogenic differentiation medium 6 hours per day for 10 days. For the in vivo study, an incision was made in the cranium of each animal, after which we implanted a collagen scaffold seeded with stimulated cells into the animals. Histological analysis revealed bone formation after 10 weeks of implantation.
We have shown that the combined use of chemical factors and an electromagnetic field was more effective for inducing osteogenesis. These elements have synergistic effects and are beneficial for bone tissue engineering applications.