Author(s): Soong HK, Parkinson WC, Bafna S, Sulik GL, Huang SC, Soong HK, Parkinson WC, Bafna S, Sulik GL, Huang SC
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Abstract The effects of an externally applied direct-current electric field on the movement of cultured rabbit corneal epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts were studied. After a latency of approximately 20 minutes in an electric field, both epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts became spindle shaped and underwent galvanotropism by aligning their long axes perpendicular to the applied electric field. The electric field stimulus thresholds for galvanotropic movements in epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts were 4V/cm and 6 V/cm, respectively. After an additional latency of 30 minutes, both cell types manifested galvanotaxic movements: epithelial cells commenced migration in the cathodal (downfield) direction and stromal fibroblasts in the anodal (upfield) direction. For both types of cells, ruffled membranes and lamellipodia were abundant at the leading edges of migrating cells and cell processes underwent retraction at the trailing edges. At field strengths of above 10 V/cm, evidence of cellular damage (manifested by cellular rounding and detachment), attributable to the electric field treatment, was observed after 4 hours. These preliminary results suggest that galvanotaxic responses could be exploited clinically in the enhancement of corneal wound healing.
This article was published in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access