Bending and stretching of bone creates electrical fields thought to originate from the apatite crystals (piezoelectricity) (Fig. i.8.3). Electromagnetic fields generated during mechanical stimulation show distinct effects on bone. As mentioned above they reduce osteoclastic recruitment and increase osteoblastic bone formation. The response is highly frequency dependent, with frequencies below 75 Hz being most effective . Magnetic field exposure inhibits cell growth through a mechanism independent of gap junctional coupling, while the alteration in alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity appears to be stimulated by electric fields independent of gap junctions .
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