Primary Osteoblasts Response to Shock Wave Therapy Using Different Parameters

Lucia Martini, Milena Fini, Gianluca Giavaresi, Paola Torricelli, Mario De Pretto, Lia Rimondini, Roberto Giardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Over the past decade extracorporeal shock-wave therapy (ESWT) has been increasingly applied to orthopaedic and musculoskeletal pathologies, the aim of this study was to assess how the energy density of the shock waves and the number of impulses affect viability, differentiation and synthetic activity of osteoblasts. Primary sheep osteoblasts cultures were treated with ESWT with an electro-hydraulic shock wave generator by selecting three different energy levels (14-21-28 kV corresponding at 0.15-0.31-0.40 mJ/mm2) and two different total numbers of impulses (500, 1000) for each level. At the and of treatment, cell counts and viability were recorded. Cells were then cultivated for 48 hours starting from a concentration of 1 × 104 cells/ml. The biological activity and viability were evaluated at 24 and 48 hours after treatment. No cytodestructive effects were observed in Group A, while a cytodestructive effect of ESWT was seen in cultures receiving the highest energy treatments. The different shock wave treatment induced differences in MTT assays after 24 and 48 hours, in particular the highest level showed a detrimental effect on cell respiration at both experimental times as compared to the Control Group and the protein metabolism was generally depressed by ESWT with impulses at the highest energy level. After 24 hours such effect further increased with the growing number of impulses. The lowest energy level appeared to significantly improve the metabolic parameter in primary cell cultures as compared to controls when 500 impulses were selected. The current study has demonstrated that one of the most important aspects to be considered is not the total number of impulses used but the energy level of the shock waves, thus confirming that ESWT has a dose-dependent effect on cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-466
Number of pages18
JournalArtificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Immobilization Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Osteoblast
  • Shock wave therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Hematology

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