In Vitro Evaluation of Genotoxic Effects under Magnetic Resonant Coupling Wireless Power Transfer
Mizuno K, Shinohara N, Miyakoshi J. In Vitro Evaluation of Genotoxic Effects under Magnetic Resonant Coupling Wireless Power Transfer. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Apr 7;12(4):3853-63. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120403853.
Wireless power transfer (WPT) technology using the resonant coupling phenomenon has been widely studied, but there are very few studies concerning the possible relationship between WPT exposure and human health. In this study, we investigated whether exposure to magnetic resonant coupling WPT has genotoxic effects on WI38VA13 subcloned 2RA human fibroblast cells.
WPT exposure was performed using a helical coil-based exposure system designed to transfer power with 85.4% efficiency at a 12.5-MHz resonant frequency. The magnetic field at the positions of the cell culture dishes is approximately twice the reference level for occupational exposure as stated in the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines. The specific absorption rate at the positions of the cell culture dishes matches the respective reference levels stated in the ICNIRP guidelines.
For assessment of genotoxicity, we studied cell growth, cell cycle distribution, DNA strand breaks using the comet assay, micronucleus formation, and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene mutation, and did not detect any significant effects between the WPT-exposed cells and control cells.
Our results suggest that WPT exposure under the conditions of the ICNIRP guidelines does not cause detectable cellular genotoxicity.
There is public concern regarding the potential health risks of technologies using electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Research into possible relationships between exposure to EMFs and human health is very important. The World Health Organization has assessed the health risks produced by EMFs in the frequency range 0–300 GHz, and has published Environmental Health Criteria monographs to provide critical reviews on the effects of EMFs on human health [1,2].
Wireless power transfer (WPT) can be utilized to supply power to equipment, and eliminates the need for a direct connection to a power source. Many experiments on WPT technology, such as laser, microwave and magnetic induction, have been carried out . In recent years, Kurs et al.  and Karalis et al.  described a new EMF-related WPT technology using the resonant coupling phenomenon. This new WPT technology has many potential applications, such as wireless powering of residential and industrial equipment and wireless charging for electric vehicles, and has attracted the attention of many researchers who have started investigating related technologies [3,6]. Some studies have already discussed the possible relationship between EMFs from WPT using the resonant coupling phenomenon and human health based on the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines [7,8,9].
Evaluation of potential carcinogenesis at the cellular level requires assessment of cellular genotoxicity. The genotoxic effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF) fields have been evaluated widely at the cellular level [1,2,10,11]. To our knowledge, however, there have been very few in vitro studies evaluating the genotoxic effects of fields near the 10-MHz frequency range. Therefore, in this study, we focused on the genotoxic effects for initial evaluation of the biological effects, and we evaluated the cell growth, cell cycle distribution, DNA strand breaks using the comet assay, micronucleus formation and hypoxanthine–guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene mutation, using our new in vitro exposure system.
ConclusionsWe investigated whether exposure to magnetic resonant coupling WPT has genotoxic effects on WI38VA13 subcloned 2RA cells by examining cell growth, cell cycle distribution, DNA strand breaks, micronucleus formation, and HPRT gene mutations. We did not detect any effects between WPT-exposed cells and control cells. Our results suggest that WPT exposure under the conditions of the ICNIRP guidelines does not cause detectable cellular genotoxicity in human fibroblast cells. We are currently planning to investigate other cellular functions to further elucidate the possible health effects of WPT exposure.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
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