Assisi’s targeted pulsed electromagnetic field technologies emerge out of a century-long evolution of using electrical currents to improve health and healing. Pulsed electromagnetic fields are simply delivery systems for inducing electrical current. Pulsing an electromagnetic field near a conductor (such as tissue) will induce current flow in the conductor.
This simple law from physics allows currents to be induced in tissue from outside the body, without anything touching the skin. Magnetic fields penetrate through bandages, casts, fur, hair etc. The simple induction of electrical current in tissue is the functional therapeutic component of Assisi’s tPEMF® technology.
Historically, PEMF technologies were generally large, AC-powered devices that produced a substantial magnetic field. Even today, manufacturers of some PEMF devices describe them as “powerful” or “more powerful”. During much of this period of development, PEMF devices did not have a specific or known biological target. Developing medical applications of the technology was largely driven by trial and error based on unproven assumptions that greater power was likely to produce better outcomes.
We now know those assumptions to be incorrect. By the 1970s, researchers and clinicians had developed relatively low-powered PEMF devices – bone growth stimulators (BGS) – to heal recalcitrant fractures. Although demonstrated to be effective at fracture repair at low power, the specific mechanism of action remained elusive.
Arthur A. Pilla, one of the inventors of BGS technology and a professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, was also the original developer of Assisi’s targeted PEMF products. He focused significant time and resources on researching mechanisms of action for PEMF and developing PEMF signals. Among the potential targets proposed in the literature, research suggested that calcium binding was a likely candidate, in particular, the binding of calcium (Ca) to calmodulin (CaM). This particular complex is a voltage-dependent process responsible for a number of potentially therapeutic biological cascades, most importantly the natural anti-inflammatory cascade.
Learn more about the science behind the technology here.
The Ca/CaM anti-inflammatory cascade is well described. The initial binding of four calcium ions to calmodulin produces a conformational change in CaM, which, in turn, then binds to the constitutive nitric oxide syntheses (both endothelial – eNOS and neuronal – nNOS), which virtually immediately (within seconds) leads to the production of nitric oxide (NO), a principal anti-inflammatory molecule. Nitric oxide reduces pain, improves blood flow and reduces edema. It further triggers downstream effects, including the production of cGMP, the ‘energy’ molecule that then drives growth factor production, which, in turn, support new blood vessel formation, tissue regeneration and then, ultimately, to tissue remodeling.
What this means is that Assisi can bring the most effective targeted PEMF technology to veterinary medicine in small, lightweight and disposable configurations whose effectiveness is supported by a substantial and growing body of basic science and clinical research.