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The review of cellular effects of a static magnetic field

Author(s): Junji Miyakoshi

Journal: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
ISSN 1468-6996

Volume: 7;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 305;
Date: 2006;
Original page

The effects of static magnetic fields at the cellular level are reviewed. Past studies have shown that a static magnetic field alone does not have a lethal effect on the basic properties of cell growth and survival under normal culture conditions, regardless of its magnetic density. It has also been shown that cell cycle distribution is not influenced by extremely strong static magnetic fields (up to a maximum of 10 tesla (T)). A further area of interest is whether static magnetic fields cause DNA damage, which can be evaluated by determination of the frequency of micronucleus formation. The presence or absence of such micronuclei can confirm whether a particular treatment damages cellular DNA. This method has been used to confirm that a static magnetic field alone has no such effect. However, the frequency of micronucleus formation changes significantly when certain treatments (for example, X-irradiation and mitomycin C) are given during exposure to a strong static magnetic field. It has also been reported that treatment with trace amounts of ferrous ions in the cell culture medium and exposure to a static magnetic field increases DNA damage, which is detected using the comet assay. Several reports suggest that a strong static magnetic field may affect the ion transport and the gene expression. In addition, many studies have found a strong magnetic field can induce orientation phenomena in cell culture.
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