BHK-21/C13 cells in monolayer culture
scanning electron microscopy
transmission electron microscopy
Life and Medical Sciences
Occupational Health and Environmental Toxicology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Both thermal and athermal effects of millimeter-wave radiation on BHK-21/C13 cells were sought using scanning and transmission electron microscopy in conjunction with an in vitro technique that allows direct exposure of monolayer cultures to high average power densities. Culture dishes were irradiated by placing them on the open end of an E- or U-band wave guide. This technique exposes different regions of the cell monolayer lying along the longer axis of the wave guide aperture to varying power densities ranging from zero at each edge to twice the average power density at the center.Cell ultrastructure was unaffected by microwave radiation for 1 hour (41.8 or 74.0 GHz, average power densitites = 320 or 450 mW/cm2, respectively) with or without cooling by rapid recirculation of the culture medium. Temperature in recirculated cultures was held at 37.2 °C, and that in noncooled cultures never exceeded 42 °C during irradiation at either power density. In contrast, cell morphology was affected by microwave exposure whenever irradiation conditions were altered so that the temperature of the monolayer reached or exceeded 44.5 °C. Ultrastructural alterations included breakage of cell processes, progressive detachment of cells from the substrate, increased clumping of heterochromatin in the nuclei, and the appearance of large empty vesicles in the cytoplasm. Such morphological changes resulted from either application of higher average power densities or irradiation at the power densities described above at a higher ambient temperature (〉38.5°C).
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