Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Frank S. Barnes

Second Advisor

Kimberly Newman

Third Advisor

Wounjhang Park

Fourth Advisor

Stephanie J. Bryant

Fifth Advisor

Wei Tan

Abstract

This manuscript details the results of the investigations into the effects of periodic low-level temperature oscillations and pulsed variations in magnetic fields on the proliferation of multiple adherent human fibrosarcoma cells inside cell culture incubators. A custom built exposure system is used to characterize the dependence of cell proliferation changes on the frequency of the applied combined temperature and magnetic field variations. Small variations in the frequency of the oscillations in the vicinity of a "natural" frequency of the cells showed increased inhibition of cell proliferation.

Subsequently, using a previously developed shielding system for magnetic field shielding, the cells were subjected to pulsed variations in magnetic fields at constant temperature resulting in inhibition of proliferation to a smaller degree than in the earlier scenario. In order to ascertain the biological processes being affected by these temperature and magnetic field variations, levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADPH) were measured after the cells had been subjected to temperature and magnetic field variations and the results are reported here.

Although the effects of the variations are not well established, and the molecular mechanisms are currently being debated, this study attempts to show the link between the inhomogeneity in temperature and magnetic fields inside cell culture incubators and sources of variability in biological effects on cells such as proliferation, differentiation and death.

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