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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1614 - 1620
1 Nov 2010
Fini M Tschon M Ronchetti M Cavani F Bianchi G Mercuri M Alberghini M Cadossi R

Short intense electrical pulses transiently increase the permeability of the cell membrane, an effect known as electroporation. This can be combined with antiblastic drugs for ablation of tumours of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of electroporation when applied to bone and to understand whether the presence of mineralised trabeculae would affect the capability of the electric field to porate the membrane of bone cells.

Different levels of electrical field were applied to the femoral bone of rabbits. The field distribution and modelling were simulated by computer. Specimens of bone from treated and control rabbits were obtained for histology, histomorphometry and biomechanical testing.

After seven days, the area of ablation had increased in line with the number of pulses and/or with the amplitude of the electrical field applied. The osteogenic activity in the ablated area had recovered by 30 days. Biomechanical testing showed structural integrity of the bone at both times.

Electroporation using the appropriate combination of voltage and pulses induced ablation of bone cells without affecting the recovery of osteogenic activity. It can be an effective treatment in bone and when used in combination with drugs, an option for the treatment of metastases.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 1 | Pages 123 - 128
1 Jan 2006
Fini M Giavaresi G Giardino R Cavani F Cadossi R

We investigated the effect of stimulation with a pulsed electromagnetic field on the osseointegration of hydroxyapatite in cortical bone in rabbits. Implants were inserted into femoral cortical bone and were stimulated for six hours per day for three weeks.

Electromagnetic stimulation improved osseointegration of hydroxyapatite compared with animals which did not receive this treatment in terms of direct contact with the bone, the maturity of the bone and mechanical fixation. The highest values of maximum push-out force (Fmax) and ultimate shear strength (σu) were observed in the treated group and differed significantly from those of the control group at three weeks (Fmax; p < 0.0001; σu, p < 0.0005).