Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

No effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields on PC12 and HL-60 cells. med./bio.

Published in: Radiat Environ Biophys 2006; 45 (1): 63-71

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) similar to those used in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on two tumour cell lines,



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 250 mHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: 5 s to 40 s depending on the number of pulses applied

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 250 mHz
Exposure duration 5 s to 40 s depending on the number of pulses applied
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse type monophasic
Additional info

The magnetic field of a single pulse increased rapidly during the first 100 µs to a maximum and exponentially decreased afterwards within 1 ms. The time between two pulses was about 5 s. The frequency of a single pulse was estimated to be 12.4 kHz.

Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • double coil each with 50 mm diameter with a hole diameter of 10 mm
Setup The double coil was fixed with the front of the coil in upside position. 35 mm Petri dishes were placed on top of the double coil and shielded against heat and vibrations with a 2 mm thick plate of plastic foam. Sham exposed dishes were placed in the same room but outside the influence of the coil.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info The dishes were exposed to non-homogeneous MF. The MF and EF varied from +85% to -85% and 15 to 100%, respectively if the dishes were positioned in the middle position between the two turns and from 50 to 100% and 0 to 50%, respectively if positioned in the middle of each turn. The dishes were exposed in the middle of the coil, on the left side on the coil with the north magnetic direction, or on the right side of the coil with south magnetic direction.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 4 T maximum calculated - 100% intensity; corresponding EF of 575 V/m
magnetic flux density 0.25 T minimum calculated - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed no effect on cell viability or on the content of cAMP, Hsp72, dopamine, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine in the two tumour cell lines after PEMF exposure under various conditions. Thus, single pulse PEMF exposure at the conditions employed here is not toxic for the two different cell culture systems (HL-60 and PC12 cells). This is in agreement with the conclusion that single-pulse and repetitive TMS in animals and humans is generally regarded as safe without lasting side effects.

Study character:

Study funded by

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