Electric Stimulation of Bone Growth and Repair: A Review of Different Stimulation Methods

  • Ewa Herbst


In 1957 Fukada and Yasuda (28) showed that bone has piezoelectric properties, i.e., that it generates electric potentials in response to mechanical stress. The same phenomenon was described in 1962 by Bassett and Becker (3), who also observed that the potentials developed are negative in the area of compression and positive in the area of tension. They tried to explain the stress-generated potentials in terms of solid-state properties of bone tissue (16). Shamos and Lavine objected to the solid-state concept and spoke in favor of the piezoelectric explanation (50). In 1968 Cochran et al. described experiments on wet bone as well as in vivo experiments on cats (20). No significant difference could be seen between the potential patterns of dead and living bone in response to mechanical stress. In 1971 Marino and Becker repeated the experiment of Fukada and Yasuda and found collagen to be the source of piezoelectric potential generation (46). Another possible explanation of the origin of stress-generated potentials, or at least a partial one, may be ‘streaming potentials’, well described by Eriksson (22).


Alternate Current Osteosynthesis Plate Stimulation Method Bone Healing Process Fibular Osteotomy 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

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  • Ewa Herbst

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