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Electromagnetism & Morphogenesis
Fields guiding the positioning of organelles in cells, cells in organs and organs in bodies

Pablo Andueza Munduate

It’s being discovered that electromagnetic (EM) fields have a lot of to do with the creation and maintenance of form in biological systems, and that they work in all scales, from cellular to body, guiding morphogenesis. This is consistent with an electromagnetic mind theory that also equate mind to the sense of be alive, as those fields operate also at unicellular scales. ...

This last is important by principle, as it provide us with a powerful explanatory tool for the intelligence and memory capabilities of unicellular the entities [1] or the non nervous biological systems including plants.

In this sense there are especially valuable the works of Pietak [2][3], although they are theoretical and no experimental, where the three dimensional architectures of developing plant flower buds show striking parallels with the resonance patterns that electromagnetic energies can form and where, curiously, the two components of the EM fields (electric and magnetic) are interchangeable but always representing opposite position/function like the seeds on one side and external walls on the other [2]:

" Similar to the abutilon ovary and squash male flower bud, cells in the female squash ovary in regions that correlate to highest electric field strength have changed into placental tissue cells, while the six places of high magnetic field strength are also the six places where ova form in the squash ovary."

" Overall, the structural evidence and physical uniqueness of EM mode patterns indicates developing plant organs can support EM resonances, whereby the electric and magnetic field components guide symmetry-breaking and therefore resemble the first pattern to emerge in primordia. Rich in positional information, the EM resonant mode represents a possible physical manifestation of the morphogenetic field."

It is experimentally proven that in the case of the flowers of the plants those fields extends beyond the boundaries of them [4] and is used by pollinators as a detection/informative method [5].

But returning to a more morphogenesis centered perspective it is a growing body of evidence that electric currents guide the migration of cells, for example Cao et al. [6] reported electric field dependent migration of neuroblasts, and as reviewed by Levin et al. [7] specific voltage range is necessary for, for example, the demarcation of eye fields in the frog embryo and, artificially setting other somatic cells to the eye-specific voltage range, provoke the formation of eyes in aberrant locations. Moreover those can include tissues that are not in the normal anterior ectoderm lineage: eyes could be formed in the gut, on the tail, or in the lateral plate mesoderm.

The disruption of the spatial gradient of the transmembrane potential (Vmem) of the cells lining the neural tube diminishes or eliminates the expression of early brain markers, and causes also an anatomical mispatterning of the brain [8]. Electric fields are not only capable of guide cells to everywhere and alter the final form but also are capable to reverse morphogenesis [9]:

" We show that an external electric field above a critical amplitude can halt and even reverse the course of morphogenesis in whole-body Hydra regeneration on demand. The reversal trajectory maintains the integrity of the tissue and its regeneration capability. We further show that these reversal dynamics are induced by enhanced electrical excitations of the tissue. It demonstrates that electrical processes play an instructive role in morphogenesis to a level that can direct developmental trajectories, commonly thought to be forward-driven programmed biochemical processes."

But as an important result in this experiment is that also has confirmed the importance of the frequency of the electric field and the involvement of calcium activity:

" These data demonstrate the existence of a frequency cutoff around 1 kHz, above which the elevated Ca2+ activity is reduced, and morphogenesis is restored from its suspended state. This upper frequency cutoff is not a sharp cutoff at precisely 1 kHz. Nevertheless, further experiments demonstrate that at frequencies higher than ∼1 kHz, the regeneration process is insensitive to the external electric field."

Which evidences that the phenomenon is an electrodynamic dependent one, and no mere an electrostatic phenomenon. Magnetic fields are also always present, for example in [10] there has been detected endogenous magnetic fields arising from the ion transport/movement through the cell membrane.

In [11] Authors develop an ion channel-based model that describes multicellular states on the basis of spatio-temporal patterns of electrical potentials in aggregates of non-excitable cells. And try to give answers to various questions that include how can a single-cell contribute to the control of multicellular ensembles based on the spatio-temporal pattern of electrical potentials or how can oscillatory patterns arise from the single-cell bioelectrical dynamics.

The relationship of ion oscillations with morphogenesis is also exemplified in [12] where there is observed the dynamic changes of bioelectric currents in developing chicken embryos:

" Before feather bud elongation, EF endogenous to dorsal skin was relatively homogenous and exhibited inward directionality. At the onset of elongation, outward electric current emerged at the anterior side of each feather bud, implying a heterogenization of the EF into multiple smaller electric circuits. Tissue-wide long-range Ca 2+ oscillations were observed in bud mesenchyme. Dampening these oscillations or introduction of exogenous oscillations altered feather morphology. Feather mesenchymal cell movement changes direction markedly when voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels (VGCCs) or gap junctions were inhibited."

It must be taken in consideration that the collective oscillations of Ca2+ ions can generate endogenous electromagnetic fields and that there are serious indications that there is information encoded both in the amplitude modulation and in the frequency modulation of Ca2+ oscillations [13]:

" Decoding is used by the cell to interpret the information carried by the Ca2 + oscillation []. This information deciphering occurs when one or several intracellular molecules sense the signal and change their activities accordingly. The process is similar to electromagnetic radiation being received by an antenna on a radio and translated into sound. Mathematical modeling of a generic Ca2 + sensitive protein has shown that it is possible to decode Ca2 + oscillations on the basis of the frequency itself, the duration of the single transients or the amplitude."

Wells [14] focused on plasma membrane patterns that generate endogenous electric fields that can provide three-dimensional coordination systems for embryo development. In a review by Funk [15] he distinguishes two aspects of this ambit: low magnitude membrane potentials and related electric fields (bioelectricity), and cell migration under the guiding cue of electric fields. He described for example how in osteoblasts, the directional information of electric fields is captured by charged transporters on the cell membrane and transferred into signaling mechanisms that modulate the cytoskeletal and motor proteins, resulting in a persistent directional migration along an electric field guiding cue.

Among others, electric fields activate a number of channels and that variations in the extracellular and intracellular environment as well as the distribution of channels on the membrane contribute to the galvanotactic response [16]. Michael Levin in [17] mentioned:

" The genome is tightly linked to bioelectric signaling, via ion channel proteins that shape the gradients, downstream genes whose transcription is regulated by voltage, and transduction machinery that converts changes in bioelectric state to second-messenger cascades. However, the data clearly indicate that bioelectric signaling is an autonomous layer of control not reducible to a biochemical or genetic account of cell state."

Also Michael Levin, and Maria Lobikin, realized a review [18] where are well described some of the issues related to endogenous bioelectric currents, just as they wrote in the abstract:

" Complex pattern formation requires mechanisms to coordinate individual cell behavior towards the anatomical needs of the host organism. Alongside the well-studied biochemical and genetic signals functions an important and powerful system of bioelectrical communication. All cells, not just excitable nerve and muscle, utilize ion channels and pumps to drive standing gradients of ion content and transmembrane resting potential. In this chapter, we discuss the data that show that these bioelectrical properties are key determinants of cell migration, differentiation, and proliferation. We also highlight the evidence for spatio-temporal gradients of transmembrane voltage potential as an instructive cue that encodes positional information and organ identity, and thus regulates the creation and maintenance of large-scale shape. In a variety of model systems, it is now clear that bioelectric prepatterns function during embryonic development, organ regeneration, and cancer suppression."

Electric fields, magnetic fields and electromagnetic fields can determine how cells move and adhere to surfaces; how the migration of multiple cells are coordinated and regulated; how cells interact with neighboring cells, and also be associated to changes in their microenvironment [19].

Moreover, as pointed in the subtitle of this section internal organelles and structures of cells may be also disposed following what the internally generated fields dictate, in this sense, for example, in [20] it has been found that intracellular pH and membrane potential changes simulate bioelectrical changes occurring naturally and leading to the cytoskeletal modifications observed during differentiation of the follicle-cell epithelium. Therefore, gradual modifications of electrochemical signals can serve as physiological means to regulate cell and tissue architecture by modifying cytoskeletal patterns. More generally in [21] are exposed the latest findings on the electroconductive properties of cellular internal components, and of course, when it speak about electrical conduction it can also speak about sensitivity to external and internal electromagnetic fields.

References:

1. EMMIND › Endogenous Fields & Mind › Endogenous Electromagnetic Fields › Electromagnetic Mind - Other supporting › Plants and Unicellular consciousness

2. Pietak, A. (2015). Electromagnetic resonance and morphogenesis. Fields of the Cell, 1st ed.; Fels, D., Cifra, M., Scholkmann, F., Eds, 303-320.

3. Pietak, A. M. (2012). Structural evidence for electromagnetic resonance in plant morphogenesis. BioSystems, 109(3), 367-380.

4. Shalatonin, V. (2007, September). A study of the endogenous electromagnetic field into the space around the flower plants. In 2007 Joint 32nd International Conference on Infrared and Millimeter Waves and the 15th International Conference on Terahertz Electronics (pp. 293-294). IEEE.

5. Clarke, D., Morley, E., & Robert, D. (2017). The bee, the flower, and the electric field: electric ecology and aerial electroreception. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 203(9), 737-748.

6. Cao, L., Wei, D., Reid, B., Zhao, S., Pu, J., Pan, T., ... & Zhao, M. (2013). Endogenous electric currents might guide rostral migration of neuroblasts. EMBO reports, 14(2), 184-190.

7. Tseng, A., & Levin, M. (2013). Cracking the bioelectric code: probing endogenous ionic controls of pattern formation. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 6(1), 13192-200.

8. Pai, V. P., Lemire, J. M., Paré, J. F., Lin, G., Chen, Y., & Levin, M. (2015). Endogenous gradients of resting potential instructively pattern embryonic neural tissue via notch signaling and regulation of proliferation. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(10), 4366-4385.

9. Braun, E., & Ori, H. (2019). Electric-induced reversal of morphogenesis in Hydra. Biophysical Journal, 117(8), 1514-1523.

10. Measuring Cellular Ion Transport by Magnetoencephalography.

11. Cervera, J., Pai, V. P., Levin, M., & Mafe, S. (2019). From non-excitable single-cell to multicellular bioelectrical states supported by ion channels and gap junction proteins: electrical potentials as distributed controllers. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 149, 39-53.

12. Li, A., Cho, J. H., Reid, B., Tseng, C. C., He, L., Tan, P., ... & Zhou, Y. (2018). Calcium oscillations coordinate feather mesenchymal cell movement by SHH dependent modulation of gap junction networks. Nature communications, 9(1), 1-15.

13. Smedler, E., & Uhlén, P. (2014). Frequency decoding of calcium oscillations. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects, 1840(3), 964-969.

14. Wells, J. (2014). Membrane patterns carry ontogenetic information that is specified independently of DNA. Biophysical Journal, 106(2), 596a.

15. Funk, R. H. (2015). Endogenous electric fields as guiding cue for cell migration. Frontiers in physiology, 6, 143.

16. Iwasa, S. N., Babona-Pilipos, R., & Morshead, C. M. (2017). Environmental factors that influence stem cell migration: an “electric field”. Stem cells international, 2017.

17. Levin, M. (2014). Endogenous bioelectrical networks store non‐genetic patterning information during development and regeneration. The Journal of physiology, 592(11), 2295-2305.

18. Lobikin, M., & Levin, M. (2015). Endogenous bioelectric cues as morphogenetic signals in vivo. Fields of the Cell,(Fels, D., Cifra, M. & Scholkmann, F., eds.), 279-298.

19. Ross, C. L. (2017). The use of electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic field for directed cell migration and adhesion in regenerative medicine. Biotechnology Progress, 33(1), 5-16

20. Weiß, I., & Bohrmann, J. (2019). Electrochemical gradients are involved in regulating cytoskeletal patterns during epithelial morphogenesis in the Drosophila ovary. BMC developmental biology, 19(1), 22.

21. Tuszynski, J. A. (2019). The Bioelectric Circuitry of the Cell. In Brain and Human Body Modeling (pp. 195-208). Springer, Cham.

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text updated: 08/07/2020
tables updated: 16/06/2020

Endogenous Fields & Mind
EM & Morphogenetics

Endogenous Electromagnetism & Morphogenesis

(F) Full or (A) Abstract

Available Formats

Title

Commentary

Publication Year (and Number of Pages)

Author(s)
Favailable in PDF and HTMLElectric-Induced Reversal of Morphogenesis in HydraCommentary icon2019-(10)Erez Braun, Hillel Ori
AFrom non-excitable single-cell to multicellular bioelectrical states supported by ion channels and gap junction proteins: Electrical potentials as distributed controllersCommentary icon2019-(1)Javier Cervera, Vaibhav P.Pai, Michael Levin, Salvador Mafe
AThe Centrosome as a Geometry OrganizerCommentary icon2019-(1)Marco Regolini
ASynchronization of Bioelectric Oscillations in Networks of Non-Excitable Cells: From Single-Cell to Multicellular StatesCommentary icon2019-(1)Javier Cervera, Jose Antonio Manzanares, Salvador Mafe, Michael Levin
Favailable in PDF and HTMLCalcium oscillations coordinate feather mesenchymal cell movement by SHH dependent modulation of gap junction networksCommentary icon2018-(15)Ang Li, Jung-Hwa Cho, Brian Reid, Chun-Chih Tseng, Lian He, Peng Tan, Chao-Yuan Yeh, Ping Wu, Yuwei Li, Randall B. Widelitz, Yubin Zhou, Min Zhao, Robert H. Chow, Cheng-Ming Chuong
Favailable in PDF and HTMLGenome-wide analysis reveals conserved transcriptional responses downstream of resting potential change in Xenopus embryos, axolotl regeneration, and human mesenchymal cell differentiationNo comments yet icon2015-(23)Vaibhav P. Pai, Christopher J. Martyniuk, Karen Echeverri, Sarah Sundelacruz, David L. Kaplan, Michael Levin
Favailable in PDFElectromagnetic resonance and morphogenesisNo comments yet icon2015-(18)Alexis Mari Pietak
Favailable in PDFEndogenous bioelectric cues as morphogenetic signals in vivoNo comments yet icon2015-(20)Maria Lobikin, Michael Levin
Favailable in PDF and HTMLEndogenous Gradients of Resting Potential Instructively Pattern Embryonic Neural Tissue via Notch Signaling and Regulation of ProliferationNo comments yet icon2015-(20)Vaibhav P.Pai, Joan M. Lemire, Jean-Francois Pare, Gufa Lin, Ying Chen, Michael Levin
Favailable in PDF and HTMLGap Junctional Blockade Stochastically Induces Different Species-Specific Head Anatomies in Genetically Wild-Type Girardia dorotocephala FlatwormsNo comments yet icon2015-(32)Maya Emmons-Bell, Fallon Durant, Jennifer Hammelman, Nicholas Bessonov, Vitaly Volpert, Junji Morokuma, Kaylinnette Pinet, Dany S. Adams, Alexis Pietak , Daniel Lobo, Michael Levin
AThe phantom leaf effect: A replication (Part 1)Commentary icon2015-(1)John Hubacher
Favailable in PDFMembrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNANo comments yet icon2014-(38)Jonathan Wells
Favailable in PDF and HTMLBioelectric Signaling Regulates Size in Zebrafish FinsNo comments yet icon2014-(11)Simon Perathoner, Jacob M. Daane, Ulrike Henrion, Guiscard Seebohm, Charles W. Higdon, Stephen L. Johnson, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Matthew P. Harris
Favailable in PDF and HTMLEndogenous bioelectrical networks store non-genetic patterning information during development and regenerationNo comments yet icon2014-(11)Michael Levin
AThe Work Surfaces of Morphogenesis: The Role of the Morphogenetic FieldNo comments yet icon2014-(1)Sheena E. B. Tyler
Favailable in PDF, HTML and EpubCracking the bioelectric code: Probing endogenous ionic controls of pattern formationNo comments yet icon2013-(8)AiSun Tseng, Michael Levin
Favailable in PDFLiving Energy Resonators: Transcending the Gene to a New Story of Light and LifeNo comments yet icon2013-(4)Alexis Mari Pietak
Favailable in PDFStructural evidence for electromagnetic resonance in plant morphogenesisCommentary icon2012-(14)Alexis Mari Pietak
Favailable in PDFBiomechanical and coherent phenomena in morphogenetic relaxation processesNo comments yet icon2012-(10)Abir U. Igamberdiev
Favailable in PDFMorphogenetic fields in embryogenesis, regeneration, and cancer: Non-local control of complex patterningNo comments yet icon2012-(19)Michael Levin
AElectrodynamic eigenmodes in cellular morphologyCommentary icon2012-(1)M. Cifra
Favailable in PDFEndogenous Electromagnetic Fields in Plant Leaves: A New Hypothesis for Vascular Pattern FormationNo comments yet icon2010-(32)Alexis Mari Pietak
Favailable in PDFBioelectromagnetics in MorphogenesisNo comments yet icon2003-(21)Michael Levin
 At the cellular level:
Favailable in PDF and HTMLElectrochemical gradients are involved in regulating cytoskeletal patterns during epithelial morphogenesis in the Drosophila ovaryNo comments yet icon2019-(17)Isabel Weiß, Johannes Bohrmann
Favailable in PDF and HTMLThe Bioelectric Circuitry of the CellCommentary icon2019-(14)Jack A. Tuszynski
Favailable in PDFMultiscale Memory And Bioelectric Error Correction In The Cytoplasm-Cytoskeleton-Membrane SystemCommentary icon2017-(30)Chris Fields, Michael Levin
 On cell migration:
Favailable in PDF and HTMLCharge-Balanced Electrical Stimulation Can Modulate Neural Precursor Cell Migration in the Presence of Endogenous Electric Fields in Mouse BrainsCommentary icon2019-(42)Stephanie N. Iwasa, Abdolazim Rashidi, Elana Sefton, Nancy X. Liu, Milos R. Popovic, Cindi M. Morshead
Favailable in PDF, HTML and EpubEnvironmental Factors That Influence Stem Cell Migration: An “Electric Field”Commentary icon2017-(1)Stephanie N. Iwasa, Robart Babona-Pilipos, Cindi M. Morshead
AThe use of electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic field for directed cell migration and adhesion in regenerative medicineNo comments yet icon2016-(1)Christina L. Ross
Favailable in PDF, HTML and EpubEndogenous electric fields as guiding cue for cell migrationNo comments yet icon2015-(8)Richard H. W. Funk
Favailable in PDF, HTML and EpubEndogenous electric currents might guide rostral migration of neuroblastsNo comments yet icon2013-(7)Lin Cao, Dongguang Wei, Brian Reid, Siwei Zhao, Jin Pu, Tingrui Pan, Ebenezer Yamoah, Min Zhao
Favailable in PDF, HTML and EpubEffects of Physiological Electric Fields on Migration of Human Dermal FibroblastsNo comments yet icon2010-(8)Aihua Guo, Bing Song, Brian Reid ,Yu Gu, John V. Forrester, Colin A.B. Jahoda, Min Zhao

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