Monica De Mattei1, Angelo Caruso1†, Furio Pezzetti1, Agnese Pellati1, Giordano Stabellini3, Vincenzo Sollazzo2 and Gian Carlo Traina2
Low-energy, low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) can induce cell proliferation in several cell culture models. In this work we analysed the proliferative response of human articular chondrocytes, cultured in medium containing 10% FBS, following prolonged exposure to PEMFs (75 Hz, 2.3 mT), currently used in the treatment of some orthopaedic pathologies. In particular, we investigated the dependence of the proliferative effects on the cell density, the availability of growth factors and the exposure lengths. We observed that PEMFs can induce cell proliferation of low density chondrocyte cultures for a long time (6 days), when fresh serum is added again in the culture medium. In the same conditions, in high density cultures, the PEMF-induced increase in cell proliferation was observed only in the first three days of exposure. The data presented in this study show that the availability of growth factors and the environmental constrictions strongly condition the cellular proliferative response to PEMFs.