WeHealPlus Science Is State of the Art


The WeHealPlus system helps to reduce joint pain in animals through the application of precisely controlled magnetic field pulses. The pulses stimulate musculoskeletal tissues (bone, tendon, ligament, muscle, and cartilage) to repair themselves without subjecting the tissues to the strain and damage of physical exercise. In its most general form the technique is often referred to as Pulsed Electro‐Magnetic Field (PEMF) therapy.

This new American-developed technology is the result of scientific research and development that evolved from programs funded by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in the 1990's. Dr. Robert Dennis was the design engineering and biophysics consultant to the NASA program and he has continued to develop the technology under an exclusive sub-license of the NASA patents. After more than 15 years of research and development of the PEMF technology, radical design enhancements, and several new patents beyond the original NASA research, this technology is now being introduced for use with both humans and animals.

This technology has been shown to create axonal (nerve fiber) growth in culture and to double the rate of production of ECM (extracellular matrix (the connective structure between cells) in at least two scientific studies. Testing has shown significant reduction in joint pain within a few days to weeks when used as directed. New ongoing scientific work is underway to further validate the findings and to continue to improve the technology for our current and future customers.

Principles of Operation

The design of the WeHealPlus device is based on known laws of classical physics from Maxwell's equations, specifically Faraday's Law of Induction, as well as both classical quantitative physiology of excitable tissues and modern theories on functional adaptation in musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and other structural tissues.

It is known that muscle and nerve tissues respond directly to electrical excitation by the trans-membrane cascade of ions; this results in the propagation of action potentials in nerves or in contraction in muscles. It is also widely hypothesized, but not yet fully demonstrated, that most structural tissues, especially bone, tendon, ligament, articular cartilage, and perhaps skin, respond to selective ion flow in the paracellular space between the cell membrane and the extracellular matrix (ECM) when the tissue is subjected to mechanical stress. This ion flow is the presumptive signal that initiates the cellular-level response leading to functional adaptation, repair, and regeneration of structural tissues.

The WeHealPlus device works by using Faraday's law of induction which says that the first time derivative of the magnetic field is proportionally related to the induced electric field. It is this law that makes things work like electrical transformers, electric motors, and magnetic audio and video tape. Based on these known laws WeHealPlus has calculated the type of magnetic field necessary to generate an induced electrical field in the paracellular space around each cell that is in the right range of amplitude and duration to elicit a cellular response. These calculations are based on classical physiology where amplitude is equal to Rheobase and duration is equal to Chronaxie.

There is an abundance of literature, at least 800 peer-reviewed papers, supporting the fact that electrical shock and electrical currents can induce significant acceleration of restoration in bone tissue and other tissues (tendon and ligament, albeit with less scientific support in the literature). But the problem has always been (a) locating electrodes close enough to and properly placed around the bones to be stimulated electrically, and (b) the fact that free electrical current follows a random path of least resistance resembling a lightning bolt. A few cells directly in the path of the "lightening bolt" will be hyper-stimulated, while the other 99% of cells outside the "lightening bolt" receive essentially no stimulation. Yet crude as it is, electrical stimulation of bone still has significant beneficial effects when applied properly. The scientific literature in support of this conclusion is very compelling.

To solve these two problems the device employs the application of magnetic fields. It applies magnetic fields (not direct electrical stimulation) mainly because they do NOT interact directly with the tissues of the body. And the device rapidly changes the strength of the magnetic field. This is in contrast to the common fixed-strength magnet bracelets and similar trinkets, which do not work beyond any observable placebo effect. The magnetic field is applied to a volume of tissue using two small coils and then rapidly changes the magnetic field so that it has the optimum level of induced electrical field amplitude ("Rheobase", calculated from Faraday's equation) and optimum duration ( "Chronaxie").

Benefits of WeHealPlus PEMF Technology

Uniform cell stimulation

The WeHealPlus device uses a roughly uniform magnetic field applied over a volume of tissue and then carefully controls the rapid changes in the magnetic field to induce the desired electrical field in that same volume of tissue. It therefore uniformly stimulates all cells in the affected volume with roughly equivalent electromotive force on the ions in the paracellular and paranuclear spaces. This uniform stimulation thereby emulates the effects of mechanical stress on the tissues (that presumably signal by ion flux in the paracellular space and through voids and conduits in the ECM). The very significant difference between the WeHealPlus system and electrical stimulation in general is in the uniformity of the stimulation: unlike electrical stimulation there is no "lightning bolt" path of hyper stimulated cells. Instead, all cells in the affected volume receive a nearly uniform level of stimulation, just as they would during mechanical stress from the environment.

No electrodes, non-invasive

Electrodes do not need to be implanted as is usually necessary for electrically stimulating bone. The WeHealPlus device uses absolutely no electrodes and is completely non-invasive.

Tissue subjected to minimum stress

Because the WeHealPlus device simulates ion flow from a simulated mechanical stress without actually applying mechanical stress, the tissue does not get subjected to additional stresses. With severely damaged tissue even low levels of additional stress can be counter productive. Also, with damaged tissues the mechanisms for conducting mechanical stress in a helpful way to elicit the functional adaptive response have often been disrupted. It is believed this is why some serious injuries are refractory to recovery: they are no longer capable of supporting the mechanical stress field necessary to evoke an adaptive regenerative response at the cellular level. It is possible that the thresholds for these responses also increase with age, making it more difficult to evoke adaptive regeneration with increasing age beyond maturity.

And this is where the WeHealPlus technology is highly advantageous: it can deliver a simulated paracellular ion flux response as though the tissue were intact and healthy, even if the tissue is badly damaged.

Safe, low-power system

The WeHealPlus device emits very low levels of power because the induction-coupled system is uniform and well controlled in the volume of tissue to be stimulated. It has been optimized to provide optimum stimulation effect at low power output levels. In fact, its output is only about 350 milliwatts or about a third of the power of a typical cell phone.

Pulse output tuned to be truly effective

Finally, the WeHealPlus is fundamentally different from other suppliers of magnetic pulse devices. While some may use the NASA research results from the 1990's, their implementations do not embody the further and very critical research done by Dr. Dennis in the years since. WeHealPlus is the only group that has actually calculated and tuned the magnetic pulses to induce electrical fields that make sense physiologically to the cells being stimulated. The WeHealPlus device does not simply send out pulses of arbitrary duration, amplitude, frequency or shape. The pulse amplitude and duration are carefully selected based on Rheobase and Chronaxie measurements mentioned above, and the repeating patterns of these pulses are selected based upon known motor-neuron stimulation patterns for musculoskeletal tissues. Both fast-twitch (power) and slow-twitch (postural) muscular activity are emulated.

Dr. Dennis currently holds the title Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has held faculty positions at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and MIT, as well as a Visiting Scholar position at the Dental School at the University of Alexandria in Egypt. He has also served his community as a firefighter, retiring as Fire Chief in 2009 to focus his effort on developing the WeHealPlus technology.