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Open AccessArticle

Re-Differentiation Capacity of Human Chondrocytes in Vitro Following Electrical Stimulation with Capacitively Coupled Fields

1
Department of Orthopedics, Rostock University Medical Centre, 18057 Rostock, Germany
2
Institute of General Electrical Engineering, University of Rostock, 18059 Rostock, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111771
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 24 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cartilage Repair and Restorative Procedures)
Treatment of cartilage lesions remains a clinical challenge. Therefore, biophysical stimuli like electric fields seem to be a promising tool for chondrocytic differentiation and treatment of cartilage lesions. In this in vitro study, we evaluated the effects of low intensity capacitively coupled electric fields with an alternating voltage of 100 mVRMS (corresponds to 5.2 × 10−5 mV/cm) or 1 VRMS (corresponds to 5.2 × 10−4 mV/cm) with 1 kHz, on human chondrocytes derived from osteoarthritic (OA) and non-degenerative hyaline cartilage. A reduction of metabolic activity after electrical stimulation was more pronounced in non-degenerative cells. In contrast, DNA contents in OA cells were significantly decreased after electrical stimulation. A difference between 100 mVRMS and 1 VRMS was not detected. However, a voltage-dependent influence on gene and protein expression was observed. Both cell types showed increased synthesis rates of collagen (Col) II, glycosaminoglycans (GAG), and Col I protein following stimulation with 100 mVRMS, whereas this increase was clearly higher in OA cells. Our results demonstrated the sensitization of chondrocytes by alternating electric fields, especially at 100 mVRMS, which has an impact on chondrocytic differentiation capacity. However, analysis of further electrical stimulation parameters should be done to induce optimal hyaline characteristics of ex vivo expanded human chondrocytes. View Full-Text
Keywords: cartilage lesion; electrical stimulation; capacitively coupled electric field; regenerative medicine; chondrocytes cartilage lesion; electrical stimulation; capacitively coupled electric field; regenerative medicine; chondrocytes
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Krueger, S.; Achilles, S.; Zimmermann, J.; Tischer, T.; Bader, R.; Jonitz-Heincke, A. Re-Differentiation Capacity of Human Chondrocytes in Vitro Following Electrical Stimulation with Capacitively Coupled Fields. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1771.

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