Tissue Therm: Testbed System for Analyzing Thermal Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy on Tissues

Project number: 
Regenesis Biomedical, Inc
Academic year: 
Project Goal: To design and build a testbed system able to measure the effect of Pulsed Electromagnetic (PEMF) on heating of biological tissues. The testbed will allow: 1. Placement and maintenance of a range of tissue or "tissue equivalents" to be mounted within and maintained under physiologic conditions; 2. Tissue will be placed in a cartridge or "limb-like" facsimile (foot, leg) to allow easy tissue exchange, perfusion and instrumentation; 3. Tissue cartridges will allow easy instrumentation of tissue at varying external and internal locations; 4. The design will incorporate temperature sensors able to be placed spatially within the tissue, over a range of distances and depths; 5. The design will also allow placement of probes that measure the electric and magnetic fields generated by the therapy, to coincidentally measure actual delivered PEMF dose at tissue depth; 6. Recording and Display of temperatures - A data recording, analysis and display system will be designed to allow for ready interpretation, visualization and display of results of experiments in which tissue will be exposed to a range of PEMF doses = varying intensity, frequency of exposure and total time of exposure. This system will help advance PEMF therapy towards expanded use in the clinic by providing an engineering tool (the testbed system) able to systematically and reproducibly define the effects that varying PEMF energy delivery regimes have on regional tissue delivery and its thermal consequences.

Project Background/Scope: Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) has been demonstrated to be an effective and useful therapeutic modality capable of modulating a range of biologic and pathophysiologic body responses. To date the delivery of PEMF has been shown to enhance healing of chronic tissue ulcers. PEMF has also been demonstrated to accelerated wound closure. Of note PEMF has been able to modulate neuroinflammatory responses underlying chronic pain. As such, PEMF has been demonstrated to be, and has emerged as, a safe and effective, non-drug based therapeutic means of reducing pain. To date it is understood that electrical field and magnetic field effects of PEMF are the significant therapeutic agents driving the observed biologic effects. Electromagnetic energy interaction with tissue is also known to induce local tissue heating. The relative contribution of electromagnetic versus heating effects remains incompletely defined. It is the goal of this project to help tease these issues apart. Regenesis Biomedical manufactures an effective FDA cleared therapeutic system able to deliver PEMF.

Why build a testbed system? Much like dosing of a medication, non-pharmacologic therapies such as PEMF, in which energy is delivered to tissue, need to be thoroughly understood as far as how energy interacts with tissue and what contribution each energy mode has as to therapeutic effects. While PEMF has been proven to be safe and effective, there is room for greater understanding as to energy-tissue interactions, tissue conversion of energy to heat and means of assessing such. This is the goal of the current project. Here the project team will build an effective system able to determine the effects that a range of PEMF dosing regimes, i.e., intensity, frequency, and duration, have on actual tissue heating.

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