EMF Health-effects Research

Calcium homeostasis of isolated heart muscle cells exposed to pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic fields.

Wolke S, Neibig U, Elsner R, Gollnick F, Meyer R

Bioelectromagnetics 17(2):144-153, 1996

The intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) of isolated ventricular cardiac myocytes of the guinea pig was measured during the application of pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic fields. The high-frequency fields were applied in a transverse electromagnetic cell designed to allow microscopic observation of the myocytes during the presence of the high-frequency fields.

The [Ca(2+)]i was measured as fura-2 fluorescence by means of digital image analysis. Both the carrier frequency and the square-wave pulse-modulation pattern were varied during the experiments (carrier frequencies: 900, 1,300, and 1,800 MHz pulse modulated at 217Hz with 14 percent duty cycle; pulsation pattern at 900 MHz: continuous wave, 16 Hz, and 50 Hz modulation with 50 percent duty cycle and 30 kHz modulation with 80 percent duty cycle). The mean specific absorption rate (SAR) values in the solution were within one order of magnitude of 1 mW/kg. They varied depending on the applied carrier frequency and pulse pattern. The experiments were designed in three phases: 500 s of sham exposure, followed by 500 s of field exposure, then chemical stimulation without field.

The chemical stimulation (K+ -depolarization) indicated the viability of the cells. The K+ depolarization yielded a significant increase in [Ca(2+)]i.

Significant differences between sham exposure and high-frequency field exposure were not found except when a very small but statistically significant difference was detected in the case of 900 MHz/50 Hz. However, this small difference was not regarded as a relevant effect of the exposure.

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