We discuss a wide range of applications of electric fields in biology and medicine. For example, physiological strength (<500 V/m) fields are used to improve the healing of wounds, the stimulation of neurons, and the positioning and activation of cells on scaffolds for tissue engineering purposes. The brief, strong pulses used in electroporation are used to improve the insertion of drugs into tumors and DNA into cell nuclei. The references direct readers to detailed reviews of these applications. The mechanism by which cells detect physiological strength fields is not well understood. We also describe a field-transduction mechanism that shares features common to the detection of fluid shear by cells. We then provide some experimental evidence that supports our model.
Part of the book: Electric Field