Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/19393
Low back pain is in many cases linked to the degeneration of the intervertebral disk (IVD). This medical condition has been identified as a major socio-economic problem. Despite the high prevalence of IVD degeneration, no therapeutic approach exists to date that can halt or reverse the degenerative processes in a non-invasive manner. Over the past decades, the therapeutic efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) has been shown e.g. in the context of fracture healing of long bones, muscle regeneration and on cartilage healing but little is known about its effects on the IVD. In a recent study, low-intensity PEMFs (1.5 mT, 75 Hz) were shown to promote cell proliferation and modestly up-regulate the expression of anabolic genes. These effects of PEMF on the IVD is an indicator of possible usages of PEMF as a treatment of the degenerated disc and thus low back pain. In this project, low energy and pulsed electromagnetic field was applied on bovine nucleus pulposus IVD cells in the range of 0-2 mT and frequency of 15 Hz for either 5 or 10 minutes. The biological effects were analyzed by changes in gene expression of IVD-typical extracellular matrix proteins and mechano-sensitive ion channels. Cell viability and proliferation were also tested in response to PEMF.
No changes in the gene expression of the extracellular matrix proteins or the voltage gated ion channel were found. Viability of cells and the proliferation rate was not altered after treatment with PEMF. It is therefore clear that PEMFs with the specific parameters tested cannot be used as a method to assist in the regeneration of the IVD. However a longer exposure time, yet realistic in a clinical context, might stimulate the production of extracellular matrix. It is also possible that progenitor-like cells may be more responsive to PEMF but further research is needed to determine if that is the case.
|Investigating the effect of PEMF Oddny Bjorgvinsdottir.pdf||1.85 MB||Open||Complete Text||View/Open|