Microgravity Science and Technology

, 21:311

Magnetic Levitation of MC3T3 Osteoblast Cells as a Ground-Based Simulation of Microgravity


    • Department of RadiologyUniversity of Minnesota
  • Louis S. Kidder
    • Department of RadiologyUniversity of Minnesota
  • Philip C. Williams
    • Department of RadiologyUniversity of Minnesota
  • Wayne Wenzhong Xu
    • Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational ResearchUniversity of Minnesota
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12217-008-9092-6

Cite this article as:
Hammer, B.E., Kidder, L.S., Williams, P.C. et al. Microgravity Sci. Technol. (2009) 21: 311. doi:10.1007/s12217-008-9092-6


Diamagnetic samples placed in a strong magnetic field and a magnetic field gradient experience a magnetic force. Stable magnetic levitation occurs when the magnetic force exactly counter balances the gravitational force. Under this condition, a diamagnetic sample is in a simulated microgravity environment. The purpose of this study is to explore if MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells can be grown in magnetically simulated hypo-g and hyper-g environments and determine if gene expression is differentially expressed under these conditions. The murine calvarial osteoblastic cell line, MC3T3-E1, grown on Cytodex-3 beads, were subjected to a net gravitational force of 0, 1 and 2 g in a 17 T superconducting magnet for 2 days. Microarray analysis of these cells indicated that gravitational stress leads to up and down regulation of hundreds of genes. The methodology of sustaining long-term magnetic levitation of biological systems are discussed.


Magnetic levitationMC3T3Osteoblastic cellMicrogravity

Copyright information

© US Government 2008