Robert O. Becker's research while affiliated with Syracuse VA Medical Center and other places

Publications (58)

Article
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Fibular osteotomies in rats were exposed to an extremely low frequency field for 14 days. By histologic evaluation it was found that the healing rate was retarded by the field. The effect (which was replicated) occurred at much lower power levels than are presently employed in electircal osteogenesis.
Article
A silver anode, but not a cathode, is bactericidal at microampere current levels because of the electrochemical reactions occurring at the metal electrode surface. This has been clinically useful as a local anti-infective agent even though the mechanism of action on the bacterial cell has not been determined. We investigated the effect by inducing...
Article
A method of producing local antibiotic effects by means of an iontophoretic technique using free silver ions has been evaluated in vitro and in vivo for more than two decades. The antibiotic properties of the technique have proved useful in both animal and human studies. In the course of determining the optimal clinical methodology for infected ope...
Article
Induction of local tissue regeneration in the human would best be accomplished if the patient's own cells at the desired site could be caused to dedifferentiate into the required embryonic stem cells. A system involving the electrical iontophoretic introduction of free silver ions into human wounds for their antibiotic effect has been in clinical u...
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We studied the relationship between power-frequency magnetic fields and locations of suicidal deaths in 1969-76 in the West Midlands, England. We found a significant correlation between suicide locations and the measured power-frequency magnetic field strength. Significantly more suicides occurred at locations of high magnetic field strength. (C)19...
Article
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The AC impedance of a length of the H meridian not containing any acupuncture points was studied by means of Laplace plane analysis of the time domain response to an input voltage pulse. The ensuing frequency domain data were compared to the results of an identical analysis for two anatomically similar controls on either side of the meridian. The r...
Article
Recent studies reporting significant physiological effects associated with electrical and manual stimulation at several traditional Chinese acupuncture loci are reviewed. Other reports on the anatomy and electrical properties (DC resistance and potential, AC impedance) of these sites indicate that many are significant local skin resistance minima a...
Article
24 recent studies on acupuncture analgesia for the relief of experimentally-induced pairs are reviewed. Negative or equivocal results are reported in 7 of these. The remaining 17(71%) report significant analgesic effects during manual or electrical stimulation (particularly at very low frequencies on the order of 2 Hz) at acupuncture loci. Many inv...
Article
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The frequency dependence of the skin impedance between two acupuncture points (H-3 and H-4) was determined by Laplace plane analysis of the time domain response to an input voltage perturbation. Both the resistance and capacitance between the acupuncture points differed significantly from the corresponding controls, thus supporting the interpretati...
Article
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AC impedance between two acupuncture points (Li-4 and Li-12) and two pairs of anatomically similar points with the same separation was studied via Laplace plane analysis of the time domain current response to a predetermined voltage perturbation. The series resistance between the two acupuncture points was found to be significantly lower than betwe...
Article
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Low intensity direct current stimulation of bone growth involves the continuous application of cathodic currents in the nanoampere range. The technique has been applied to 13 patients with a variety of non-unions and pseudarthroses with a success rate of 77 per cent. Preliminary data indicate that a range of total energy, from 0.6 to 2.5 Joules, is...
Article
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Skin conductance was measured in 10 subjects with a DC Wheatstone bridge in 10 areas purportedly containing acupuncture loci on the Triple Burner (TB) and Lung (Lu) meridians. When the results were compared to those from anatomically similar locations devoid of acupuncture loci, local conductance variation was found to be significantly different (p...
Article
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Employing a Wheatstone bridge, skin conductance was measured over those putative acupuncture points on the large intestine and pericardium meridians lying between the metacarpophalangeal joints and the elbow. Results were compared to those from anatomically similar locations devoid of acupuncture points. At most acupuncture points on most subjects,...
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THE piezoelectric property of connective tissue may play a role in regulating the patterns of tissue growth1. Most piezoelectric measurements, however, deal with dried tissue2-4. Observations of stress-generated voltages from hydrated connective tissue are generally insufficient to establish that the voltages are of piezoelectric origin, because of...
Chapter
One of the greatest challenges facing the life sciences today is the elucidation of the control mechanisms that regulate the cellular processes of growth, healing, response to injury, and the maintenance of the organizational pattern of the total individual. The determination of these mechanisms may well provide the cures for such diverse entities...
Article
The study of electrical activity associated with the majority of in vivo cellular processes is quite well known with respect to excitable-membrane (nerve, muscle, etc. ,) events. Of increasing importance, however, are those electrical phenomena that are becoming to be associated with various basic processes including cell growth, total body organiz...
Article
A complete, operational system is proposed to exist in living organisms which controls such basic functions as growth, healing and biological cycles. The system is described in anatomical detail. It functions as a data transmission system in an analog fashion using varying levels of d.c. as its signal. The system interlocks physically with the nerv...
Article
Full thickness defects in mammalian articular cartilage heal with fibrocartilaginous tissue. Articular cartilage subjected to chronic trauma or osteoarthritic changes responds by chondrocyte proliferation and increased biochemical activity. Immature rabbit articular cartilage is capable of limited cellular proliferation in response to surgically cr...
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A relationship between 2 phenomena exhibited by bone matrix, piezoelectricity and autoinduction, is unlikely. Autoinduction, demonstrated by others to be diminished following prolonged treatment of the bone matrix with HCl, and altogether absent with HNO3 demineralized bone matrix, has a relatively constant piezoelectric coefficient, d14, and does...
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The piezoelectric constant of mature and immature bone (defined herein) has been measured in an effort to determine whether it varies with age. It was found that the average value of the piezoelectric constantd 14 of femur from three week old calves was 58% of the value of femur from three year old bulls. The results were interpreted to indicate qu...
Article
In the adult Triturus viridescens between 30% and 50% of the ventricular myocardium was removed. In an initial series of 20 animals, all survived the procedure for 2 wk after which they were killed. Since then, several hundred animals have been used for various phases of the study with an overall mortality rate of 10%. Specimens for histological ex...
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The production of secondary glaucoma and altered serum electrophoresis patterns in rats and the production of chromosomal abnormalities in tumor cells in mice upon exposure to low strength electrostatic fields (ESF) appear to affirm unequivocally the existence of ESF induced trigger phenomena in biologic systems. The phenomena certainly are not ene...
Article
Over the past decade, there has been a growing awareness that electrical and magnetic forces have specific effects on living organisms. They appear to indicate sensitivities on the part of living organisms several orders of magnitude greater than predictable by present concepts of cellular or organismal physiology. CNS effects, bone growth and tumo...
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The piezoelectric effect was measured in samples of human bone and repeated with the same samples after either demineralization or decollagenation. The results indicate that at least part and possibly all of the piezoelectric effect found in whole bone arises from the organic component. The existence of two alternatives results from the unknown rol...
Article
The natural trace metal compositions of human bone mineral and demineralized bone were measured by emission spectroscopy and compared with those of the original whole bone and human tendon. Cu, Fe and Zn remained in the collagenous matrix of bone and were found in similar quantities in tendon. It is suggested, therefore, that these ions are chemica...
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THE adaptability of bone under impressed mechanical forces has been known since the time of Wolff1. A possible control mechanism for the process became apparent with the discovery of the piezoelectric effect in bone2. In theory this effect could translate an environmental stimulus into a biologically recognizable signal controlling growth or resorp...
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A NUMBER of structural relationships between the organic and inorganic components of bone are known from X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy studies. The interrelationships have led to a theory of mineralization involving the process of epitaxy, that is, the orientated overgrowth of bone mineral on certain well crystallized areas of the organ...
Article
THERE is evidence that metal ions are involved, directly and indirectly, in the structure and function of the collagens1-11. The direct interactions between collagen proteins and metal ions must be elucidated in order to understand the roles of these ions in connective tissues. One approach is to study the metal binding properties of relatively int...
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A COMPLEX resonance has appeared in bone mineral, prepared by refluxing in ethylenediamine and washed free of the solvent with distilled water1,2. In a further attempt to characterize this resonance, non-aqueous solvents were used as washing agents and no resonances were consistently obtained in the prepared mineral. Subsequently, spectroscopic exa...
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The effect of electric current on dilute acetic acid solutions of soluble collagen has been studied for impressed voltages of from 0 to 25 volts. Above 2.6 volts the formation of collagen bands (herein defined) were observed at times inversely proportional to the applied voltage. Band formation is attributed to the process of electrolysis. It has b...
Article
The possible effects of magnetic fields on neural functioning and human behavior have been much discussed since the time of Mesmer. Only within recent years, however, has this problem been subjected to appropriate experimentation, and at this writing there would appear to be little doubt that some interaction exists between central nervous system (...
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THE electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra of non-irradiated human bone and its components have been previously reported1,2. We wish now to report results which have been obtained from human bone at X-band.
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The dielectric constant ϵ' and dielectric loss ϵ" of human cortical bone have been measured for frequencies of 1, 10, 50 and 100 kc and for hydrations (h) from 0 to 65 mg-H2O/g-bone. The absorption isotherm has also been determined. Curves of ϵ' and ϵ"vs h are found to alter sharply at a particular value of the hydration, hc, defining the ` critica...
Article
IN previous investigations1,2 we indicated some significant empirical relationships between selected geophysical parameters and gross measures of human behaviour. The present investigation attempts to demonstrate the effects of artificially produced magnetic fields on a standard, relatively uncomplicated, psychomotor task, simple reaction time.
Article
A new type of electrode for measurement of dc potentials is described. Utilizing a porous graded boundary of carbon on fiber-glass wet with saline, this electrode makes possible highly drift free operation over long periods. With matched pairs of electrodes, base line drifts of less than 1 mv per hour are obtained. Examples of its use in measuring...
Article
Electron paramagnetic resonance signals were obtained fr4m cortical bone samples about 0.5 by 3 mm from human tibia and bullfrog tibia. Samples were mounted on quartz filaments and suspended in quartz tubes so that the angular relationship between the long axis of the bone sample and the main magnetic field could be altered. Resonance signals w...
Article
IN a previous publication1 some evidence was presented for the existence of a steady-state longitudinal charge carrier flow in the peripheral nerves of Amphibia. At that time this flow of current was considered to be unidirectional in the nerves with the necessary circuit completion path through some non-neural tissue. This concept required the pre...
Article
The amplitude of electrical potentials generated in stressed bone is dependent upon the rate and magnitude of bony deformation, while polarity is determined by the direction of bending. Areas under compression develop negative potentials with respect to other areas. Similar results were obtained both in living and dead bone. Removal of the inorgani...
Chapter
The direct-current potentials measurable on the surface of amphibians have been shown to be organized into a complex dc “field” pattern, with a remarkable relationship to the underlying neural structures (Fig. 1). Further observations have led to the thesis that this dc field is generated within and distributed by elements of the central nervous sy...
Article
The demonstrated association of the d-c bioelectric field with central nervous system elements implies the longitudinal flow of charge carriers within that system. Transverse d-c voltages, attributed to the Hall effect, have been obtained from the extremities of intact salamanders under circumstances suggesting such electric current. These voltages...
Article
The dc field potential has been determined on the surface of the intact salamander, Trituris viridescens. A complex field was found which did not correspond to a simple dipole. The field was found to vary in a dynamic fashion with changes in the level of anesthesia. The spatial organization of the field correlated well with the anatomical organizat...
Article
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Plant leaves and salamanders were photographed employing light from high voltage discharges. The photographs were influenced by the moisture and geometry of the object, but not by its cellular activity. Possible diagnostic use appears limited to cases where the presence of moisture is of interest. Kirlian and Kirlian (1963) have described a form of...

Citations

... It has already been observed that simple, chronic, ionic changes in the extracellular fluid can cause a modification in cell state function (Pilla, 1974;Becker and Pilla, 1975;Chiabrera et al., 1979Chiabrera et al., , 1980. In fact, simple changes in extracellular ionic microenvironment can influence the rate of cell differentiation and even redirect its development pathway Barth, 1969, 1974a, b). ...
... It has already been observed that simple, chronic, ionic changes in the extracellular fluid can cause a modification in cell state function (Pilla, 1974; Becker and Pilla, 1975; Chiabrera et al., 1979 Chiabrera et al., , 1980). In fact, simple changes in extracellular ionic microenvironment can influence the rate of cell differentiation and even redirect its development pathway ( Barth, 1969, 1974a, b). ...
... Throughout this chapter, we have presumed a clear-cut distinction between facts and values. As argued by Hammond and Adelman (1976), Mazur, Marino and Becker (1979), and others, such a separation can have a powerful impact on clearing the air in debates about risk. ...
... Becker and co-workers ( [3][4][5][6]26]) have also explored tissue electrical properties in connection with growth, repair and regeneration. For example, [5] partial limb regeneration in rats was stimulated by application of weak electrical signals. ...
... A variety of inorganic constituents have been identifi ed in tendon, with sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium most abundant among the different elements represented (Ellis et al . 1969 ). Most are primarily associated with soluble proteins, although the most abundant element, calcium, is also present as insoluble mineral deposits in tendon (Ellis et al . 1969 ; ). The concentration of calcium was found to be similar in different tendons, accounting for around 0.1 per cent of the tendon dry weight in human supraspinatu ...
... In search for scientific support of the above claims, the writer found many conflicting theories and experimental studies in this young science of electromagnetics. Jeno Barnothy (1964) states the effects of electromagnetic fields are: (1) sensory (effect on migrating bird movements [Larkin and Sutherland, 1977;Southern, 1973]), (2) stress (effect on the central nervous and endrocrine systems [Barnothy and Sumegi, 1969;Becker, 1969;Marino, et_al., 1976]), or (3) genetic (retardation of aging [Ossenkopp, 1972]). ...
... The 7-Hz pulse has some similarity to naturally occurring electromagnetic fluctuations in the environment such as the geomagnetic field (that which arises from the rotation of Earth's fluid iron core) and Schumann harmonics (the consequence of lightning discharges between the Earth's surface and the ionosphere). Exposure to this frequency has remarkable impacts on animal behaviour and neurodevelopment [54][55][56]. Although unsubstantiated, it is possible that the 7-Hz pulse activates neuritogenesis in the PC12 model by mimicking fluctuations in the geomagnetic field, although more rigorous experimental investigations are warranted. ...
... He also found a direct relationship between current, tissue growth, and healing processes by measuring the DC electrical potential and current involved in spontaneous and induced regeneration in various species such as salamanders, frogs, and rats. A remarkable level of limb regeneration in adult frogs was reported by applying a negative polarity current to the post-amputation stump, and that fractures of the long bones in frogs demonstrated a negative polarity along with apparent dedifferentiation of the erythrocytes in the fracture hematoma, which later formed the bone "callus" responsible for healing the fracture [45]. His results show that bone can generate potentials by the piezoelectric effect and that the natural repair of bone fractures can be stimulated by electric current [13,20]. ...
... In addition, some observational studies have provided evidence that enhanced frequency of psychotic disorders is related with times of strong geomagnetic activity and microseismicity (enhanced rates of very small earthquakes; i.e. M<~3 earthquakes) [18][19][20][21]. Both physical phenomena, geomagnetic storms and microseismicity, transfer quasi-static or ultra low frequency (ULF) electromagnetic fields from either space or the lithosphere, respectively [22,23], which affect human mental health and behavior [18][19][20][21]24,25]. ...
... Regarding tissue regeneration, external electrical stimulation has been shown to promote bone healing both in animal experiments and clinical treatments [8]. Additionally, preclinical and clinical studies have shown superior healing of cartilage defects with MSCs after the application of electrical current [9,10]. ...