Letter | Published:

Effect of electric fields on growth rate of embryonic chick tibiae in vitro

Naturevolume 254pages331332 (1975) | Download Citation

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Abstract

NUMEROUS investigators have reported work on the stimulation of bone growth by electric currents in the microampere range, with varying degrees of success. Such work, along with the various tentative theories of the underlying mechanisms, have been summarised by Bassett1, and some quantification of the effect has been attempted2,3. Hambury et al.3 concluded that the necessary crudity of the surgical techniques involved, and the overriding effects of the trauma militated too severely against accurate quantification of the electrically-stimulated bone growth, and proposed4 that in vitro experiments might yield more definitive results. They also concurred with other workers that if electric currents do influence bone growth, then so should electric and magnetic fields, and Norton9 has already performed work in this area in vivo, using chickens. We report that the gross development of embryonic chick tibiae grown in vitro is affected by a pulsed, transverse electric field, but that no significant changes were observed when a static, non-varying field was used.

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References

  1. 1

    Bassett, C. A. L. The Biochemistry and Physiology of Bone, Part II ch. 2 (Academic, New York, 1971).

  2. 2

    Lavine, L. S., Lustrin, T., and Shamos, M. H., Nature, 224, 1112–1113 (1969).

  3. 3

    Hambury, H. J., Watson, J., Sivyer, A., and Ashley, D. J. B., Nature, 231, 5299 (1971).

  4. 4

    Hambury, H. J., Watson, J., Toole, A., Sivyer, A., and Ashley, D. J. B., Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 238, 508–517 (1974).

  5. 5

    Norton, L. A., ibid., 466–476

  6. 6

    Biggers, J. D., Expl Cell Res., 25, 41–58 (1961).

  7. 7

    Bassett, C. A. L., Pawluk, R. J., and Pilla, A. A., Science, 184, 575–577 (1974).

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Author notes

    • WILLIAM G. DE HAAS
    •  & SONIA S. HAUSER

    Present address: Division of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada

Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, University College, Swansea

    • JOSEPH WATSON
    • , WILLIAM G. DE HAAS
    •  & SONIA S. HAUSER
  2. University of Wales, Singleton Park, Swansea, UK

    • JOSEPH WATSON
    • , WILLIAM G. DE HAAS
    •  & SONIA S. HAUSER

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https://doi.org/10.1038/254331a0

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