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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1812
Department of Radiotherapy, Galliera Hospital, Genoa, Italy
All living beings on the Earth undergo atmospheric pressure (compression from above) and gravitational attraction (tension from below), both mechanical forces able to induce two vectorial piezo-electric effects, +APPE and -GTPE respectively, in the wealth of crystalline piezoelectric structures characterizing the living matter. Atmospheric compression and gravitational tension generate in a given biological target piezoelectric voltages along two opposite direc tions (+ -) (- +). As atmospheric pressure is measured in Pascal unit (1.013 · 105 Pa), the author has translated into Pascal the gravitational acceleration g (9.8 m/s2) equivalent to 0.98 · 105 Pa, in order to evaluate the net piezoelectric effect (read: algebraical addition of two piezoelectric effects of opposite sign) during changes of atmospheric pressure. Calculations of +APPE and –GTPE in bone and soft tissues yield results in the order of µV. Modern experimental mechanobiology has shown a series of important bioeffects, induced by pressures in the order of 105 Pa and by voltages in the order of µV, thus affording biological relevance to pressure and voltage values involved in geophysical piezoelectric effects. In the author’s view, both APPE and GTPE have to be considered like permanent sources of vectorial energy, able to modulate spontaneous bioelectric processes in cells and tissues, hence a number of biological effects ensue. Some interesting applications to be approached in the future regard: meteoropathy under changing weather conditions at sea level; the physiological changes in populations living at high altitudes, as well as in marine creatures living at abyssal depths; the lack of gravity suffered by astronauts during space flights.