Magnetic Field Interactions with Biological Materials

Authored by: Frank Barnes

Bioengineering and Biophysical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138735309
eBook ISBN: 9781315186580
Adobe ISBN:


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Magnetic fields have been used as mechanism for coupling electromagnetic energy into biological systems for a large number of applications. Among the most common uses for time-varying magnetic fields are inducing electric fields that may be used to heat the biological material, stimulate nerves, and activating bone growth. Magnetic pulses are used to induce electric fields that in turn stimulate bone growth and for transcranial stimulations of brain cells. These applications are discussed in other chapters. In this chapter, and in Chapter 7, BBA, an outline of some of the mathematics that describes the physics of the interaction of magnetic fields on biological systems and some effects of weak magnetic fields on the generation of radical are presented. Radicals are molecules or ions with unpaired spins such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen. Both are important signaling molecules in biological systems and can also do damage that is associated with aging, cancer, and Alzheimer’s (Droge 2002). The effects of weak magnetic fields on radicals in cell cultures are also discussed in Chapters 7 in this volume and Chapter 1 in BMA, which include many additional references.

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