In vitro exposure of human chondrocytes to pulsed electromagnetic fields

  • V Nicolin |
  • C Ponti
  • G Baldini
  • D Gibellini
  • R Bortul
  • M Zweyer
  • B Martinelli
  • P Narducci


The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) on the proliferation and survival of matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI®)-derived cells was studied to ascertain the healing potential of PEMFs. MACI-derived cells were taken from cartilage biopsies 6 months after surgery and cultured. No dedifferentiation towards the fibroblastic phenotype occurred, indicating the success of the surgical implantation. The MACI-derived cultured chondrocytes were exposed to 12 h/day (short term) or 4 h/day (long term) PEMFs exposure (magnetic field intensity, 2 mT; frequency, 75 Hz) and proliferation rate determined by flow cytometric analysis. The PEMFs exposure elicited a significant increase of cell number in the SG2M cell cycle phase. Moreover, cells isolated from MACI® scaffolds showed the presence of collagen type II, a typical marker of chondrocyte functionality. The results show that MACI® membranes represent an optimal bioengineering device to support chondrocyte growth and proliferation in surgical implants. The surgical implant of MACI® combined with physiotherapy is suggested as a promising approach for a faster and safer treatment of cartilage traumatic lesions.


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How to Cite
Nicolin, V., Ponti, C., Baldini, G., Gibellini, D., Bortul, R., Zweyer, M., Martinelli, B., & Narducci, P. (2009). In vitro exposure of human chondrocytes to pulsed electromagnetic fields. European Journal of Histochemistry, 51(3), 203-212.