A 2-mm non-healing bony defect was prepared in the premaxilla of male Wistar rats weighing about 180 g as a simulation of an alveolar cleft, for determination of whether a pulsing electromagnetic field (PEMF) could promote regeneration of bone induced by demineralized bone matrix (DBM). The defect was either treated with 7 mg DBM or was left as a non-grafted control. The rats were exposed to a PEMF with a frequency of 100 Hz, a 10-ms-wide burst with 100 microseconds-wide quasi-rectangular pulses, repeating at 15 Hz, and magnetic field strength of 1.5-1.8 G. Alkaline phosphatase activity increased significantly from day 7 in the DBM-graft-plus-PEMF group and from day 10 in the DBM-graft group, reaching a maximum on day 14. A greater-than-two-fold rise in alkaline phosphatase activity and a three-fold rise in the amount of 45Ca incorporation in the DBM-graft-plus-PEMF group were attained compared with those of the DBM-graft group. The DBM-graft-plus-PEMF group produced more bone with almost complete osseous bridging in the defect sites than did the group treated with DBM only on day 35. The findings indicate that PEMF had an enhancing effect on the bone-inductive properties of the DBM through the stimulation of osteoblast differentiation induced by DBM.
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