Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of ELF Magnetic Field in Combination with Iron(III) Chloride (FeCl3) on Cellular Growth and Surface Morphology of Escherichia coli (E. coli). med./bio.

Published in: Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2013; 169 (8): 2341-2349

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine the effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields alone or in combination with FeCl3 on the cell viability and morphology of Escherichia coli.

Background/further details

Escherichia coli cells were grown in culture medium without or with different concentrations of iron(III) chloride (0.2, 2 and 20 g/l FeCl3) while being exposed or sham exposed.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 24 hours

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 24 hours
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber 30 ml plastic culture flasks containing E. coli in a fluid medium were used
Setup coils were made up of 154 turns of copper wire with a diameter of 2.2 mm having inner and outer diameters of 40.5 and 45.5 cm, respectively; coils were placed in horizontal plane to produce vertically oriented magnetic field; distance between the coils was 21.375 cm; electrical parameters of the coils were resistance of 1.2 ohm and inductance of 19.6 mH; coils were driven with a variable transformer with a power of 2.7 kVA; system was mounted on a wooden frame; culture flasks were placed at the center of the coil-based exposure system (homogenous exposure region) in vertical position, so that the magnetic field was perpendicular to the bottom of the flasks
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 2 mT - measured - ± 0.05 mT
eddy current density 69.3 mA/m² maximum - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

No significant differences between exposed and sham exposed cells were observed regarding cell viability. Furthermore, no significant influence of FeCl3 supplementation of the culture medium on the cell viability was found.
While the morphology of sham exposed cells appeared normal in the scanning microscopy, exposed cells showed structural damages such as various pores with different sizes on the cell membrane.
The authors conclude that 50 Hz magnetic fields do not influence the cell viability of Escherichia coli but could affect the surface morphology.

Study character:

Study funded by

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