Multilevel assessment on biological effects of radioFrequency electromagnetic waves (mBioRF)

Partners: University of Patras (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), National Technical University of Athens (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), University of Thessaly (Biology Unit, School of Humanities), University of Ioannina (Department of Pathology, Medical School), University Mental Health Research Institute, National University of Athens (1st Department of Psychiatry, Medical School)

Duration: 2012 - 2015

Researh project mBioRF aims to produce beyond state of the art multilevel research data on Biological effects of RafioFrequency (RF) ElectroMagnetic (EM) waves. The research project is structured to be developed in three (3) main levels: i) Cellular level: A thorough, in depth study on biological effects of low level EM Fields (EMF) radiation is foreseen. mBioRF will explore the production of free radicals from cells and generation of an oxidative stress state. The study will be done in total peripheral blood lymphocytes isolated from human volunteers in an attempt to minimize any overstatements from the misdetection of any experimental effects due to the use of cell cultures etc. Furthermore, the study will take place under a realistic scenario during which isolated human blood lymphocytes will be exposed to a modulated signal of mobile phones (e.g. 3rd Generation-UMTS) under controlled conditions in order to well define the radiation. Numerical dosimetry study will enable the detailed characterization of the exposure conditions. ii) Tissue level: Emphasis will be placed on dosimetric outcomes for children and other groups (e.g. pregnant women), which are considered of potential sensitivity. The study will focus on the calculation of EM dosimetric quantities, in comparison with international reference levels, taking into consideration a) the inter-subject variability in the numerical description of anatomical human models, b) the use of updated, age-related dielectric properties that characterize biological tissues and have been introduced in recent literature and c) the accurate description of the EM source. Moreover, it will explore the need for more complex and combined design scenarios, such as the use of portable sensors or other antennas in the presence of mobile phones or uncontrolled environments of general EM radiation. Additionally, the temperature (and potential conductivity) variation will be measured non-invasively in experimental head models and healthy volunteer participants, based on microwave radiometry methods. The experimental data will be combined with the corresponding computed ones, along with EM absorbed power information. iii) Neurophysiological level: A human volunteers study aims to evaluate potential alternations in ElectroEncephaloGram (EEG) and Evoked Potentials (EP) recordings, due to 3G EM irradiation. EP will be recorded due to acoustic or/and optical stimuli. Advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) methods will be used in order to detect potential statistically significant differences. In order to study the potential neurophysiological effects, alternations in the product of temperature and conductivity of brain tissue will be also recorded in real time and will be combined with the available information concerning the EM power absorption.