Noninvasive electromagnetic fields on keratinocyte growth and migration

Ran Huo, Qianli Ma, James J. Wu, Kayla Chin-Nuke, Yuqi Jing, Juan Chen, Maria E. Miyar, Stephen C. Davis, Jie Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Although evidence has shown that very small electrical currents produce a beneficial therapeutic result for wounds, noninvasive electromagnetic field (EMF) therapy has consisted mostly of anecdotal clinical reports, with very few well-controlled laboratory mechanistic studies. In this study, we evaluate the effects and potential mechanisms of a noninvasive EMF device on skin wound repair. Materials and Methods: The effects of noninvasive EMF on keratinocytes and fibroblasts were assessed via proliferation and incisional wound model migration assays. cDNA microarray and RT-PCR were utilized to assess genetic expression changes in keratinocytes after noninvasive EMF treatment. Results: In vitro analyses with human skin kerati-nocyte cultures demonstrated that noninvasive EMFs have a strong effect on accelerating keratino-cyte migration and a relatively weaker effect on promoting keratinocyte proliferation. The positive effects of noninvasive EMFs on cell migration and proliferation seem keratinocyte-specific without such effects seen on dermal fibroblasts. cDNA micro-array and RT-PCR performed revealed increased expression of CRK7 and HOXC8 genes in treated keratinocytes. Conclusions: This study suggests that a noninvasive EMF accelerates wound re-epithelialization through a mechanism of promoting keratinocyte migration and proliferation, possibly due to upregulation of CRK7 and HOXC8 genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • CDNA
  • Electromagnetic field
  • Fibroblast
  • Keratinocyte
  • Migration
  • Proliferation
  • RT-PCR
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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