A new exposure system for the in vitro detection of GHz field effects on neuronal networks
P. Koester, J. Sakowski, W. Baumann, H.-W. Glock, J. Gimsa
Multi-electrode array, Micro-sensor chip, Biochip, EMF, UMTS, Wave-guide
The possible effects of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) on biological systems are a subject of public concern and scientific
discussion. It is generally accepted that the absorption of part of the field energy may cause a temperature rise in biological tissue.
Nevertheless, our setup aims to detect possible athermal effects on the electric activity of neuronal in vitro networks. Such networks were
formed by primary neurons derived from the murine frontal cortex and cultivated on micro-sensor chips. The action potentials of the neurons
were detected in real time by an integrated, electrically passive microelectrode array. For EMF exposure, the chips were introduced into a rectangular wave-guide that could be operated in the propagating or standing wave modes. The drive signals were either continuous waves (1.9–2.2 GHz) or a generic mobile phone signal (UMTS-standard) of up to approximately 8 W. An on-chip sensor allowed the temperature progression to be recorded. In addition, ISFETs and Clark-like electrodes were integrated for the on-chip detection of pH and O2, respectively.
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