• Jennifer Depew

Microtubules in a magnetic field

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

The magnetic field around microtubules can be more easily visualized in the study of cell division or embryology. The replication of DNA and pairing of new genes during cell division has a series of steps that are controlled by a group of microtubules and pair of centrosomes that together form a spindle shape (football shape).


The phases of cell division are seen in this brief video about centrosomes. The detailed structure of a centrosome and the polarized ends of the microtubules can be seen in Figure 1, of: Microtubule assembly crucial to bovine embryonic development in assisted reproductive technologies.


Or in the image of a single spindle formation during meiosis/cell division. (https://www.123rf.com/photo_76019788_meiosis-computer-artwork-of-the-first-meiotic-division.html) A collection of graphics about the role of motor protein function in mitosis is available and the polarity of the microtubules within the spindle formation is included.


Magnetic fields have polarity - a positive side and a negative side. Placing two positive sides together would have a repelling effect, the magnets would move farther apart due to the magnetic energy, while placing one negative side near a positive side of another polarized magnet would have an attracting effect, the magnets would take more force to separate.


Electrical fields created by the spindle of polarized microtubules can be seen in images included in: Electro-Acoustic Behavior of the Mitotic Spindle: A Semi-Classical Coarse-Grained Model. (plos.org).


Prenatal development of the infant's cells, or cell division during normal growth or wound healing may be effected by exposure to electrical fields. Influence of high magnetic fields on meiosis, (Springer).

  • Ionic plasma electrical fields have been used experimentally with some success for improved wound healing in diabetics. Activation of Nrf2 pathways and rebalancing oxidative stress chemicals seems to be involved in the beneficial effects. The treatment also helps stabilize the cellular matrix/ the glycocalyx layer of the healing wound. Redox for Repair: Cold Physical Plasmas and Nrf2 Signaling Promoting Wound Healing https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/7/10/146/htm

  • Cancer cells have different electrical field energy levels than in healthy tissue and the difference has been used in treatments based on the specific tumor. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3503562/)

Excessive exposure to electrical fields might have a negative effect. Turning off WiFi devices when not in use can help reduce exposure. Having a wired internet connection that is turned off when not in use would decrease exposure.


Disclaimer: information provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use.

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