Pulsed EM fields help with the tissue engineering of the joints as well. Check out the latest reports about the amazing therapy below.
Pulsed electromagnetic fields help with joints
The development, maintenance, and restoration of bones and joints rely on both chemical and physical cues. Of these physical cues, there is growing recognition of the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in treating bone fracture nonunions. The discovery of bone’s piezoelectric properties by Fukada and Yasuda in Japan in 1953 laid the groundwork for this field.
Research conducted by Bassett, Brighton, and their respective teams has led to the FDA’s approval of using PEMF for fracture healing. While this technology has promising applications in joint regeneration for osteoarthritis, the field is still developing and provides new opportunities. To explore the influence of PEMF on joints, such as articular cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, we conducted a systematic review of the literature published between 2000 and 2016.
In both laboratory and real-life settings, the use of PEMF has been found to promote the growth and development of chondrocytes, as well as the synthesis of extracellular matrix. This is due to the release of beneficial morphogens and anti-inflammatory cytokines through the activation of adenosine receptors A2A and A3. Furthermore, clinical studies have shown that PEMF can help improve the function of knees affected by OA. However, further studies are necessary to fully understand the mechanisms behind PEMF’s effects on various joint and tissue types, including articular cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
This disorder affects the elderly population and is characterized by progressive degeneration of articular cartilage in the joints. It is currently affecting over 30 million Americans, with the numbers increasing due to the aging of the population and the obesity epidemic. The properties of articular cartilage vary depending on the depth from the surface, as it is an anisotropic tissue. The degeneration starts from the surface and progresses to the depth, leading to functional joint failure and disability.
However, articular cartilage in joints lacks the ability for self-repair, and, therefore, no treatment is available for complete cartilage repair and regeneration.
The aim of tissue engineering is to construct functional tissues in a lab that can be implanted in the body to repair, replace, and regenerate new tissues with maximum functionality. Generally, regeneration mimics embryonic development and morphogenesis. Bone, among the musculoskeletal tissues, has great potential for regeneration during skeletal development and as a part of the repair process in response to injury.
PEMF is a potential solution for delayed union and nonunions of bone fractures, as well as an alternative treatment for OA. According to basic principles of physics, such as Wolff’s law, the piezoelectric properties of collagens, and the concept of streaming potentials, PEMF promotes bone and cartilage growth. The safety and effectiveness of PEMF have been thoroughly established, and it has been observed to increase morphogens to promote osteogenesis.