Stimulation of osteoblast growth by an electromagnetic field in a model of bone-like construct

Antonia Icaro Cornaglia, M. Casasco, F. Riva, A. Farina, L. Fassina, L. Visai, A. Casasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The histogenesis of bone tissue is strongly influenced by physical forces, including magnetic fields. Recent advances in tissue engineering has permitted the generation of three dimensional bone-like constructs. We have investigated the effects of electromagnetic stimulation on human osteoblast cells grown in a hydrophobic polyurethane scaffold. Bone-like constructs were stimulated by pulsed electromagnetic fields in a bioreactor. Proliferation, bone protein expression and calcified matrix production by osteoblasts were measured using histochemical methods. In stimulated cultures, the number of cells was significantly higher compared to static (control) cultures. In both stimulated and control cultures, cells were immunoreactive to osteoblast markers, including type-I collagen, osteocalcin and osteopontin, thus suggesting that the expression of bone-related markers was maintained throughout the in vitro experiments. Morphometric analysis of von Kossa-stained sections revealed that stimulation with electromagnetic field significantly increased matrix calcification. The data lend support to the view that the application of a magnetic field can be used to stimulate cell growth in bone-like constructs in vitro. This finding may be of interest for the production of biomaterials designed for clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-203
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean journal of histochemistry : EJH
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Bioreactor
  • Bone-like tissue
  • Electromagnetic field
  • Histochemistry
  • Osteoblast
  • SAOS-2 cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Anatomy


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