Electric fields in bone marrow substructures at power-line frequencies

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2005 Jun;52(6):1103-9. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2005.846712.


Bone marrow is known to be responsible for leukemia. In order to study the hypothesis relating power-line frequencies electromagnetic fields and childhood leukemia from a subcellular perspective, two models of bone marrow substructures exposed to electric field are computed numerically. A set of cancellous bone data obtained from computed tomography scan is computed using both the finite element method (FEM) and scalar potential finite difference method. A maximum electric field enhancement of 50% is observed. Another model of bone marrow stroma cells is implemented only in FEM using thin film approximation. The transmembrane potential (TMP) change across the gap junctions is found to range from several to over 200 microV. The two results suggest that imperceptible contact currents can produce biologically significant TMP change at least in a limited number of bone marrow stroma cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / physiology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / radiation effects*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electricity*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials / radiation effects
  • Models, Biological*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Stromal Cells / physiology
  • Stromal Cells / radiation effects