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Assisi targeted PEMF (tPEMF)® Technology Summary

Assisi Loop Mechanism of Action

Assisi’s targeted pulsed electromagnetic field technologies have emerged from a century-long evolution of using electrical currents to improve health and healing. Pulsed electromagnetic fields are simply delivery systems for inducing an electrical current. Pulsing an electromagnetic field near a conductor (such as tissue) will induce current flow in the conductor.

This basic law of electromagnetism and induction explains how currents are induced in tissue from outside the body, without anything touching the skin. The electromagnetic waveforms penetrate through bandages, casts, fur, hair, etc., inducing an electrical current in tissue. The biologic effects of that induced current, the upregulation of nitric oxide (NO), is the functional therapeutic component of Assisi’s tPEMF technology. Enhancing nitric oxide, the body’s own anti-inflammatory, accelerates healing and reduces pain and inflammation in damaged tissue. The researchers that established the vital role of nitric oxide as a multifunctional signal molecule were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1998.

Historically, PEMF therapeutic devices were generally large, AC-powered devices that produced a substantial electromagnetic field. Even today, manufacturers of some PEMF devices describe them as “powerful” or “more powerful.” During much of this early period of development, the waveforms generated by PEMF devices did not have a specific or known biological target. The first generation of medical applications of the technology was largely driven by trial-and-error variations in signal characteristics and intensity. Not understanding the biological effects of various untargeted waveforms, their developers assumed that “more is better” and that greater power was likely to produce better outcomes.

We now know those early assumptions to be incorrect. By the 1970s, researchers and clinicians had developed relatively low-powered PEMF devices—bone growth stimulators (BGS)—to heal recalcitrant fractures. Although demonstrated to be effective at fracture repair at low power, the specific mechanism of action remained elusive.

Arthur A. Pilla PhD, one of the inventors of BGS technology and a professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, was also the original developer of Assisi’s targeted PEMF products. He focused significant time and resources on researching mechanisms of action for PEMF and developing targeted PEMF signals designed to generate a specific biological effect in humans and animals, particularly to treat pain and inflammation. Dr. Pilla’s targeted PEMF anti-inflammatory device has received 501(k) clearance from the FDA for treating pain and edema in soft tissue.

Assisi’s portfolio of anti-inflammatory tPEMF devices incorporates the technology cleared by the FDA for human medicine. As the global leader in veterinary applications of tPEMF therapy, the Assisi Loop family of products--the Assisi Loop®, Assisi Loop Lounge®, and Assisi Loop Clinica™--target conditions in animals related to pain and inflammation. Uniquely in veterinary medicine, the efficacy of these devices has been demonstrated in peer-reviewed, published reports of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

We have now taken Dr. Pilla’s research one step further. Assisi has developed specific tPEMF signals “tuned” to have therapeutic effects on other difficult-to-treat conditions. More recently, Assisi has developed a second tPEMF signal that differs from the signal delivered in the Loop family of products. This new signal, targeted to create a biological effect in neural tissue, is used in Assisi’s most recent product, the Calmer Canine™. The patent-pending Calmer Canine waveform targets the stress and anxiety centers in the brain, and effectively reduces anxiety and restores the animal to a more emotionally balanced state. 

Click for more on the anti-inflammatory cascade

Among the potential targets proposed in the literature, research suggested that calcium binding was a likely candidate, in particular, the binding of calcium (Ca) to calmodulin (CaM). This particular complex is a voltage-dependent process responsible for a number of potentially therapeutic biological cascades, most importantly the natural anti-inflammatory cascade. Learn more about the science behind the technology here.

tPEMF-Signal-Image.pngThe Ca/CaM anti-inflammatory cascade is well-described. The initial binding of four calcium ions to calmodulin produces a conformational change in CaM, which, in turn, then binds to the constitutive nitric oxide syntheses (both endothelial – eNOS and neuronal - nNOS), which virtually immediately (within seconds) leads to the production of nitric oxide (NO), a principal anti-inflammatory molecule. Nitric oxide reduces pain, improves blood flow, and reduces edema. It further triggers downstream effects, including the production of cGMP, the ‘energy’ molecule that then drives growth factor production, which, in turn, support new blood vessel formation, tissue regeneration and then, ultimately, to tissue remodeling.

What this means is that Assisi can bring the most effective targeted PEMF technology to veterinary medicine in small, lightweight and disposable configurations whose effectiveness is supported by a substantial and growing body of basic science and clinical research.

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