Macquarie University
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Exploring the impact of static magnetic fields on human glioblastoma cells in vitro

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posted on 2024-03-27, 02:13 authored by Millijoy Dennise Magora Villanueva

Magnetic fields (MFs) are an essential part of the natural and in human-built environments. The “transparency” of the human tissues for static magnetic fields (SMFs) in combination with their non-invasiveness stimulates the interest to the biomedical applications and safety analysis of such fields. The challenging nature of brain cancer (glioblastoma) forms a particular call for research of SMFs as factor that may contribute to the pathogenesis or treatment of these tumours. However, the specific impact of SMFs on the glioblastoma cells remain obscure.

This study focuses on assessing the effects of static magnetic fields (SMFs) on human linear glioblastoma cells (U87 and U251) in vitro. The cells were exposed to four levels of weak or moderate SMF (from 0.04 to 113 mT) generated by a planar array of 130 permanent magnets. The biological responses were examined at several timepoints (3-48 hours). The MF of the magnetic plate was quantitatively characterised. Then, the mitochondrial activity and membrane permeability of the cells were examined using the MTT and LDH assays. Cell morphology and oxidative stress levels were evaluated via confocal fluorescence microscopy and digital image analysis. The data was analysed using statistical methods.

The study revealed that the given configuration of the permanent magnets was similar to Halbach array and generated a spatially nonuniform SMF, which affected the glioblastoma cells’ metabolic activity, membrane permeability, cytoskeleton, cell and nuclear morphology, and oxidative stress levels.

Overall, GB cells demonstrated differential susceptibility to SMF, depending on the cell phenotype, magnetic flux density and exposure time.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Literature review -- Chapter 3: Materials and methods -- Chapter 4: Results -- Chapter 5: Discussion -- Chapter 6: Conclusion -- References

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Master of Research

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie Medical School

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Anna Guller

Additional Supervisor 1

Ruiwen Heng


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




105 pages

Former Identifiers

AMIS ID: 299774