Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Electromagnetic fields (GSM 1800) do not alter blood-brain barrier permeability to sucrose in models in vitro with high barrier tightness. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2005; 26 (7): 529-535

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The authors previously reported that electromagnetic fields (GSM 1800 standard, 1800 MHz) increased sucrose permeation across the blood-brain barrier in vitro (see publication 3911).
In this study the cell culture model was optimized (the filter inserts were changed) in a way that it now displays barrier properties that come very close to the low in vivo permeability.

Background/further details

Three different blood-brain barrier in vitro models were used. These models were comprised of 1) co-cultures of porcine brain capillary endothelial cells and rat astrocytes, 2) solitary porcine brain capillary endothelial cells cultivated in medium with addition of serum, and 3) without serum but with hydrocortisone.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.8 GHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 5 days

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1.8 GHz
  • guided field
Exposure duration continuous for up to 5 days
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 0.577 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup 4-well dishes containing the cell cultures were placed into a waveguide for exposure and into another waveguide for sham exposure. The arrangement of the cells inside the waveguides was exactly as described in the reference article. Small holes were drilled in the waveguides to allow for the equilibration of the atmosphere required for the cell cultures. Both of these waveguides were located in an incubator. A control group of cell cultures was placed in the same incubator but outside the waveguides.
Additional info Since the waveguides were not designed to include a temperature probe, temperature control of the exposed cells was not possible.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 0.3 W/kg mean calculated - -
SAR 0.46 W/kg maximum calculated - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

In all three blood-brain barrier models, sucrose permeation across the cell layers remained unaffected by exposure to a 1800 MHz field for up to 5 days.The authors thus could not confirm enhanced permeability of the blood-brain barrier in vitro after electromagnetic field exposure as reported before since the in vitro barrier tightness in these experiments is now more like that of the in vivo situation.

Study character:

Study funded by

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