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Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stem Cells. Jun 26, 2019; 11(6): 297-321
Published online Jun 26, 2019. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i6.297
Physical energies to the rescue of damaged tissues
Federica Facchin, Silvia Canaider, Riccardo Tassinari, Chiara Zannini, Eva Bianconi, Valentina Taglioli, Elena Olivi, Claudia Cavallini, Marco Tausel, Carlo Ventura
Federica Facchin, Silvia Canaider, Carlo Ventura, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), School of Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna 40100, Italy
Federica Facchin, Silvia Canaider, Riccardo Tassinari, Chiara Zannini, Eva Bianconi, Valentina Taglioli, Elena Olivi, Claudia Cavallini, Carlo Ventura, National Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Engineering, National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, CNR, Bologna 40100, Italy
Marco Tausel, iB3 SA, Lugano 6900, Switzerland
Author contributions: Facchin F and Canaider S equally contributed to this work with literature review and analysis; Ventura C conceived and designed the study and wrote the paper; All authors equally contributed to this paper with drafting and critical revision and editing and had approval of the final version.
Supported by no dedicated source of funding
Conflict-of-interest statement: No potential conflicts of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Carlo Ventura, MD, PhD, Full Professor, National Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Engineering, National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, Eldor Lab, at the Innovation Accelerator, CNR, Via Piero Gobetti 101, Bologna 40129, Italy. carlo.ventura@unibo.it
Telephone: +39-347-9206992 Fax: +39-051-2094110
Received: February 9, 2019
Peer-review started: February 13, 2019
First decision: April 12, 2019
Revised: April 24, 2019
Accepted: May 29, 2019
Article in press: May 29, 2019
Published online: June 26, 2019
Abstract

Rhythmic oscillatory patterns sustain cellular dynamics, driving the concerted action of regulatory molecules, microtubules, and molecular motors. We describe cellular microtubules as oscillators capable of synchronization and swarming, generating mechanical and electric patterns that impact biomolecular recognition. We consider the biological relevance of seeing the inside of cells populated by a network of molecules that behave as bioelectronic circuits and chromophores. We discuss the novel perspectives disclosed by mechanobiology, bioelectromagnetism, and photobiomodulation, both in term of fundamental basic science and in light of the biomedical implication of using physical energies to govern (stem) cell fate. We focus on the feasibility of exploiting atomic force microscopy and hyperspectral imaging to detect signatures of nanomotions and electromagnetic radiation (light), respectively, generated by the stem cells across the specification of their multilineage repertoire. The chance is reported of using these signatures and the diffusive features of physical waves to direct specifically the differentiation program of stem cells in situ, where they already are resident in all the tissues of the human body. We discuss how this strategy may pave the way to a regenerative and precision medicine without the needs for (stem) cell or tissue transplantation. We describe a novel paradigm based upon boosting our inherent ability for self-healing.

Keywords: Stem cells, Physical energies, Mechanical forces, Electric fields, Electromagnetic fields, Electromagnetic radiation, Photobiomodulation, Damaged tissues

Core tip: Rhythmic oscillatory patterns permeate the entire universe and sustain cellular dynamics. Our cells encompass a seemingly infinity of rhythms, unfolding at the nanomechanical and electric level in the microtubular network. Essential signaling molecules are shown to behave as chromophores, supporting the absorbance and emission of light. Photobiomodulation is a rapidly growing area of inquiry for both deciphering novel signaling mechanisms and affording unprecedented clinical applications. The deployment of the diffusive features of physical energies is leading to a regenerative/precision medicine, based upon the reprogramming in situ of tissue-resident stem cells, without the needs for cell or tissue transplantation.