Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Frank Barnes

Second Advisor

Mark Hernandez

Third Advisor

Wei Tan

Abstract

This thesis provides evidence supporting the claim that weak static and pulsed magnetic fields have measureable effects upon fibrosarcoma cells. Fibroblast and fibrosarcoma cell lines were exposed to 0, 100, and 200μT fields, with a static 45μT field as the control. Each exposure intensity, other than 0μT, was conducted at a 20 sec pulse repetition rate, as well as the normal static conditions. The cells were tested for variations in oxidative stress, membrane potential, and cell viability. The fibrosarcoma cells were also tested for cell count. The trials were conducted using an electromagnetic system that provided a controlled magnetic environment by blocking out all external magnetic fields.

It was found that the magnetic fields did indeed produce changes in cell activity, as well the creation of result variability with respect to exposure strength, but did so without an overall discernable trend. More experiments need to be conducted in order to determine which magnetic fields could be used in therapeutic devices, whether in cancer or other disease treatments. They also need to be completed to better support or deny the spin flip theory that provides a mechanism for extremely weak magnetic fields to interact with cells. The results do show though, that the exposure system detailed in this thesis is useful in conducting cellular experiments and should be used in cell incubators during other experiments to eliminate exposure to unknown magnetic fields.

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