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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Nov 27, 2020)

ID Number 1155
Study Type In Vitro
Model 2.2 MHz (UMTS) exposure on permeability in a pig brain microvascular endothelial cell culture (PBEC - in vitro model of the BBB)

Porcine brain microvascular endothelial cell cultures (PBEC) were exposed to 2 GHz (UMTS) at an SAR between 1.6 - 1.8 W/kg (identified as the maximum power that would not induce a temperature change of over 0.5 degrees C) for up to 84 hours and analyzed for permeability of 14-C-sucrose and serum albumin. Positive control for tight junctions included mannitol and non-RF heating to 45 degrees C. No effects of exposure were observed on tightness, permeability, or morphology of the BBB. No effects were observed on localization or integrity of the tight junction proteins occludin and ZO-1. The authors conclude "it is likely that EMFs from mobile phones of the UMTS generation do not substantially harm the blood-brain barrier." Further studies report preliminary up- and down- regulation of several genes associated with rat brain endothelial cells by RF exposure at SARs of 0.4, 1, 3, or 8 W/kg. The largest effect occured at 3 W/kg, but there was no obvious dose response or consistency of de-regulated expression among the different dose levels.

Findings No Effects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator University of Munster, Germany
Funding Agency FGF, Germany, BfS, Germany, DMF, Germany
  • Franke, H et al. Radiation Research , (2005) 164:258-269
  • Franke, H et al. Bioelectromagnetics, (2005) 26:529-535
  • Comments

    This study ~ addresses the initial in vitro BBB study of Schirmacher and Veyret (Bioelectromagnetics 2000, 21: 338-345) using a similar in vitro model, but using an 1800 MHz GSM exposure